The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers look to finish their regular season conference play on a high note as they look to defeat their arch rival the Lady Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman.
The Lady Rattlers haven’t had much trouble against the Lady Wildcats as they have never lost to them in Head Coach Tony Trifionov’s tenure here at Florida A&M. The Lady Rattlers defeated the Lady Wildcats earlier in the season and expects the same outcome this time around Trifonov said.
“We always have had Bethune-Cookman’s number,” Trifonov said. “We never lost to them in volleyball and we hope that streak doesn’t end. They are an improved team so we just have to play FAMU volleyball and we should win the game.”
Consistency and being relaxed is what how the girls must play in order to be successful if they want to defeat the Lady Wildcats Trifonov said.
“Earlier in the season when we played them we won the first two games then dropped the next game,” Trifonov said. “We had some issues with the pressure and the crowd and it got to us a little bit so hopefully the support of our fans will help us. We can’t play tense or play complacent, we have to play and compete with the same energy and intensity no matter the opponent.”
Defense is what Trifonov preached during practice and blocking well and serving aggressively will be keys to stopping the Lady Wildcats offense Trifonov said.
“The first time we played them we held them to a .151 hitting percentage and we played pretty solid defense,” Trifonov said. “We have to block and play defense those are the keys to holding the opponent to a low hitting percentage we have to serve aggressive.”
Middle Blocker Pamela Barrera said this game is a must win because they want to beat their arch rival.
“Right now we are on a roll and we don’t want that to stop,” Barrera said. “We just need to play hard and we have to win every single match. We can’t drop our intensity and it’s our last home game of the season and we don’t want to let the fans down.”
This game has huge implications on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament seeding Outside Hitter Maria Ceccarelli said.
“It’s very important to win this game,” Ceccarelli said. “We’re rivals and we need to keep pace with South Carolina State because we want that number one seed come tournament time. We have to play our style of volleyball and give the fans something to go home happy too.”
The Lady Rattlers will play The Lady Wildcats in their last game before the MEAC Tournament Sunday November 13, 2011 at the Al Lawson Center.