After falling to the University of North Florida in five sets Tuesday night, Florida A&M University’s volleyball team has dropped three consecutive games; all of the them outside of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Lady Rattlers seem to have a tough time playing teams outside of the MEAC. The team is 7-13 on the season, and they’re 1-13 when playing non-conference teams. But, that narrative is the complete opposite when playing teams in their conference.
The Lady Rattlers are undefeated in MEAC play; in fact, they haven’t even lost a set so far this season.
The ladies aren’t satisfied with just success in the conference; the team’s goal is to win a MEAC championship. But, they feel they’re dropping a lot of winnable non-conference games.
The game against UNF Tuesday night is a prime example: The ladies opened up the fifth and deciding set on with a 7-1 lead, but ended up falling 15-13.
Sophomore outside hitter Deija Martin says the team just needs to focus more on their execution. “We kind of killed ourselves,” Martin said. “It was our own errors… there’s no excuse for how we played… in all honesty our heads just weren’t in it.”
Despite the troubles playing out the MEAC, the ladies are still the class of the conference. Another bright side for Rattlers this season is the emergence of freshman outside hitter Pamela Soriano, who’s coming off of her fourth consecutive MEAC rookie of the week.
And with a big smile on her face, Soriano says she doesn’t feel like a freshman and she said she feels like she’s been at FAMU for years.
And as far as her individual success, Soriano made it clear her main concern is the team’s success as a whole. She did not even know she received the honor for a fourth time until halfway through the game.
“When I found out about the first three times, I was like yea that’s good… but I don’t feel like it’s (that) important,” Soriano said. “(But) I’m not the best, I’m one of the players, and I have to help my team to keep improving.
Head Coach Tony Trifonov says he doesn’t know how well of the team would be right now without Soriano, and he challenged the rest of the team after the game.
“Someone else needs to step up other than Pamela ” Trifonov said. “We need to be more consistent, and someone else needs to put the team on their shoulders.”
The Lady Rattlers will end the season on a five-game conference road trip before the MEAC tournament in late November.