Yeisha Arcia led the volleyball team to an undefeated record in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.
Arcia, an outside hitter and second-year biology student from San Juan, Puerto Rico, anchored the team to a 12-game winning streak following a season-ending victory over Bethune-Cookman University.
Arcia said she was “surprised and humbled” to earn the role as team captain.
“It’s only my second year here at FAMU, and there are other girls who are seniors and more experienced,” Arcia said. “I was very honored and overwhelmed when coach told me I was captain.”
Arcia said she maintains a solid balance between school and volleyball. A typical day for her includes studying, going to class, lifting weights and practicing. She practices for about three hours a day but maintains a balance for her schoolwork.
“I’ve been balancing school and volleyball since I was 8 years old,” Arcia said. “College is all about time management, but if you get that right, then it’s not hard.”
Head volleyball coach Tanio Trifonov said the decision in naming Arcia captain was based on her key skills, such as her consistency.
“She communicates well with the players on the team,” Trifonov said. “She’s also one of our more consistent players.”
Even on a team with senior leadership, Arcia is in the top three statistically with 184 kills, 219.5 points and 168 digs.
Arcia was named the MEAC Rookie Player of the Week twice last season.
Freshman middle blocker Dei’ Ja Martin, who won Rookie of the Week this season, said Yeisha is a leader who leads by actions more than words.
She said Yeisha cheers for others when they need it, and the rest of the team feeds off of her attitude.
“She’s the one who pushes us the most in a positive manner,” Martin said. “Her work ethic is strong, and it makes us want to be strong as well.”
Martin said during the start of the season when the players had trouble coming together as a team, Arcia would hold meetings in order to discuss the issues with the team.
“Her leadership impacted us in a good way when we were struggling at the beginning,” Martin said. “Everyone just looks up to her.”
She may be an aggressive player on the volleyball court, but off the court her teammates say she is a shy person.
“I’m like two different people on and off the court,” Arcia said.
Despite her early success, Trifonov said Arcia can still become a better player.
“She’s only a sophomore, so she’s still improving, which is a good thing,” Trifonov said. “She hasn’t reached her ceiling of skill yet, and we’re very pleased with her progress.”
Arcia and the Lady Rattlers will compete in the MEAC Volleyball Tournament, which begins Friday in Baltimore.