The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers defeated The Mercer Lady Bears in five sets (25-10 L, 25-15 W, 25-20 W, 28-26 L, 15-9 W) Wednesday at the Al Lawson Center. The Lady Rattlers won every game of their three game home stand and improve their record to 4-11 (2-1 Mid Eastern Athletic Conference) and the Lady Bears record stands at 6-15.
The Lady Rattlers after having one of the worst sets of their season in the first set came roaring back in the second set to take a 25-15 victory and holding their opponent to a .162 hitting percentage in the process. After the first set outside hitter Bianca Rucker gave her team a few words to get the team ready to win the second set.
“I told them team in the huddle no mercy,” Rucker said. “We had to come out and play our game in the second set and show them no mercy.”
The momentum from the second set carried over to the third set and when the Lady Rattlers dropped the fourth set the team felt like they still were confident enough to win the game Rucker said.
“Playing at home really calmed us down and put us at ease tonight,” Rucker said. “Also, we just had to stay consistent and be calm and take it one play at a time. After we lost the fourth set, we still felt like we had them and we was determined to win.”
The Lady Rattlers went on to win the fifth set and end their losing streak against Mercer. Mercer head coach Noelle Rooke said the Lady Rattlers made their adjustments very well.
“Early on in the game we made less errors than Florida A&M did, we executed our game plan and made less errors,” Rooke said. “They did a good job at finding our weakness which was our blocks and they exploited it very well.”
Florida A&M head coach Tony Trifonov called this game the biggest win of the season and looks to continue this momentum as they get deeper into conference play.
“So far, this is the biggest win of the season,” Trifonov said. “Mercer beat Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia Southern this season and it feels great to beat a quality opponent. We are regaining our composure and confidence into conference schedule, we need the girls to pick up our confidence, because we have some very talented players and hopefully after a win like tonight the girls will carry the momentum over.”
The Lady Rattlers look to extend their win streak to five as they face their MEAC rival the Lady Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman Friday October 14, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida.