The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers defeated the Lady Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman in straight sets (25-23 W, 25-17 W, 25-16 W) Sunday November 13,2011 at the Al Lawson Center in a battle of Mid Eastern Conference Athletic opponents. The Lady Rattlers improve their record to (11-12, 9-1 MEAC) and the Lady Wildcats fall to (12-18, 6-4 MEAC).
The Lady Rattlers started off sluggish in the first game and watched the Lady Wildcats get out to an early advantage. The early Bethune-Cookman prompted Head Coach Tony Trifonov to use two timeouts. The timeouts helped as the Lady Rattlers eventually came from behind to get the win in the first game but those timeouts were the key to the comeback Trifonov said.
“During the timeouts I had to stay on the girls,” Trifonov said. “I took two timeouts back to back something I never do but I thought it was necessary. I had to settle the nerves of the team and we play tense when we have more people watching us but the timeouts were the key to the turnaround.”
Bethune Head Coach Issac Rapael said the Lady Rattlers getting the Lady Wildcats out their system was how they were able to come back.
“Our passing broke down and once we were out of system we struggle,” Rapael said. “Florida A&M has a much overall offense than us and we have to pass well and attack something that we didn’t do today.”
Once the Lady Rattlers calmed their nerves down they were able to settle in and play FAMU volleyball Trifonov said.
“We’re still a young team without a senior,” Trifonov said. So we come out tense its more nerves than lack of energy. We need more movement talking celebrating so we can play our style of play.”
Outside Hitter Maria Ceccarelli said this victory was huge because it’s always good to beat a rival.
“This win was big for us today,” Ceccarelli said. “We were home and it was Bethune-Cookamn and we have history with them so we had to show them we were ready to play. Once we did that we were able to come out victorious.
The Lady Rattlers were led by Outside Hitter Katherine Huanec who had 15 kills followed by Maria Ceccarelli who had 11 kills and Middle Blocker Pamela Barrera who had rounded out the group with 10 kills.
The Lady Rattlers head into the MEAC Conference tournament with nine straight conference wins and as the number one seed in the south division of the MEAC Tournament. The Lady Rattlers will look to win another championship and advance into the NCAA tournament.