Rattlers sweep defending champions


The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers defeated the Lady Bulldogs of South Carolina State in straight sets  (25-17 W, 25-20 W, 27-25 W ) Friday at the Al Lawson Center in a battle of the two top teams in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Lady Rattlers improve their record to (7-12, 5-1 MEAC) on the season and the Lady Bulldogs are now (14-13, 5-1 MEAC) this season.

The Lady Rattlers took advantage of scoring runs in the first two sets to put away the Lady Bulldogs in the first two sets. Once the Lady Rattlers caught momentum they forced the Lady Bulldogs to play from behind Lady Bulldogs Head Coach Donika Sutton said.

“We didn’t have good communication out there tonight” Sutton said. “It was an off night and our defense wasn’t flowing and that’s the foundation of our team.”

Middle Blocker Pamela Barrera said the team made most of capitalizing on South Carolina State’s errors especially the eight errors the Lady Bulldogs had in the second set.

“We played hard and we played like we were better than them today,” Barrera said. “We knew it was going to be a big game as far as conference play and we needed to capitalize on their errors if we wanted to win. We were able to get into a rhythm early and then play our style of volleyball and avenge our only conference loss.”

Winning this game was huge in terms of MEAC Play and the Lady Rattlers hope to finish strong as the season closes as the team has won seven of their last eight games Trifonov said.

“They’re the defending MEAC Champ and you win in straight sets so a win like that is always big,” Trifonov said. The girls came together as a team and played intense and played well.

The team still has to play consistent in all phases of the game and can’t let teams get back into the game when having big leads Trifonov said.

“In the third set we had a big lead and we dropped our concentration and we got tense and we made a lot of unforced errors which lead them back into the game,” Trifonov said. “We need to learn how to close games out so we don’t put ourselves in those types of situations.

Winning seven out of their last eight games the team feels like they are peaking at the right time Trifonov said.

“I think we are peaking at the right time,” Trifonov said. “We have two important games on the road and the conference tournament in two and a half weeks. The girls are playing well together at the right time as the conference tournament approaches.

The Lady Rattlers look to continue their hot streak as they play host to another MEAC opponent. The Lady Rattlers next game is Sunday October 30, 2011 against the Lady Tigers of Savannah State at The Al Lawson Center.