The Lady Rattlers looked to remain unbeaten in conference play on Friday as they took on the winless North Carolina Central University Lady Eagles at home. They were able to do just that, winning 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-8).
Coach Tanio “Tony” Trifonov was not too pleased with his team’s energy to start, but he did find a reason to be complimentary of the unit.
“Low energy to start has been a problem for us this year,” Trifonov said. “The conditions played a part in that, but we have to get better. Aggressiveness was a key for us. We made small mistakes that cost us points, but we regained mental focus to finish the game.”
Florida A&M took the first set 25-18 despite a sloppy start. It was a battle as the team started down 11-5. But that did not deter the Lady Rattlers (6-6, 3-0 MEAC) as they rallied to take a 22-16 lead before finishing the set strong.
The second set was fiercely contested with back-and-forth play that included nine ties and five lead changes, but the Lady Rattlers were able to win it 25-21.
The set favored the Lady Eagles (0-19, 0-2 MEAC) when they were able to take a 16-19 lead, but the Lady Rattlers stormed back behind a 9-3 run that closed the set.
The pace of play remained steadfast as FAMU dominated to the finish, winning 25-8.
The Lady Rattlers took a decisive 17-6 advantage and remained focus through the end of the set. They took hold of the lead and did not look back.
The effort was led by sophomore outside hitter Yeisha Arcia, who had 10 kills and 11 digs.
“We were frustrated by NCCU’s defense at the start, but we overcame that,” she said.
Arcia is expecting an even tougher challenge for the next game. She said, “Our next game is going to be really intense, and we are focused on that.”
Freshman middle blocker Dei’Ja Martin contributed nine kills and was happy with the home win.
“It felt amazing to be back at home after traveling for so long,” she said. “Our fan support was awesomeness.”
The Lady Rattlers will seek to remain unbeaten in conference play on Sunday when they take on division rival North Carolina A&T University.