A 10-day layoff caused the Florida A&M Lady Rattlers to start off sluggish, but they were able to pull out a victory against the University of North Florida Lady Ospreys.
The game was a rematch of an earlier meeting this season where the Lady Rattlers (9-6, 5-0 MEAC) were able to win 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-15, 15-11) against the Lady Ospreys on Sept. 10.
On Monday, the Lady Rattlers won 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-13, 25-19) and extended their win streak to seven games.
Head coach Tanio “Tony” Trifinov said the layoff did not harm the Lady Rattlers performance.
“Having the layoff probably did more good for us than bad,” Trifinov said. “We were able to get a fair amount of things implemented.”
The first set was a back-and-forth affair that saw 19 ties. The set went into extra play as the two teams were tightly contested until the Lady Ospreys claimed the set.
After dropping the opening set, the Lady Rattlers responded with a 5-1 run to start the second set, which established their momentum in the game.
The second set was closer than the final score would indicate, but the early run by the Lady Rattlers provided the cushion to win the set.
Upon tying the match, the Lady Rattlers were able to use the third set as a chance to separate themselves, which allowed them to go on a 10-3 run to end the set.
The fourth set was filled with adversity as the Lady Rattlers needed to make a late comeback to win, although the team fell behind 11-15 before making a 14-5 run that wrapped up the frame.
Senior outside hitter and middle blocker Katherine Huanec led the team with 20 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Yeisha Arcia contributed 17 kills and 16 digs.
“The team is gaining more confidence with every game,” Arcia said. “Our confidence is up as we are able to show our overall abilities. Practice during the layoff was good and kept us focused.”
Diana Gonzales, a senior setter, said she was pleased with the team’s effort heading into the rest of its conference schedule.
“Chemistry has helped us grow as a team,” Gonzales said. “We really look forward to the fan support this weekend.”
The Lady Rattlers will try to continue their winning streak as they return home on Friday to face their conference foe, the South Carolina State University Lady Bulldogs. The two teams will play their second match in the season series, which the Lady Rattlers lead after defeating the Lady Bulldogs on Sept. 29.