Florida A&M (3-8) snuck a 3-2 win past the University of North Florida (6-8) in Al Lawson Gymnasium, on September 19. The Rattlers won in sets with sets of (26-24, 26-24, 20-25, 24-26, 15-12).
FAMU was down in both opening sets 24-24, before mounting comebacks in both.
A hard swing that ended in a kill made by sophomore outside hitter, Maria Garcia, and a blocked ball gave the Rattlers the two points they needed to secure the 26-24 win in the first match.
A tipped ball and a kill off of a UNF block by sophomore outside hitter, Nicole Abreu, gave the Rattlers the two points they needed to secure the 26-24 win in the second match.
“We lucked out a little bit in the first couple of sets. We were playing from behind,” said Rattler head coach, Tanio Trifonov. “It was too relaxed in the first few sets.”
Garcia lead FAMU in kills with a total of 15. Senior outside/right side hitter, Katarina Raicevic, lead UNF in kills with a total of 17.
“She’s (Maria Garcia) a first team All-Conference player. She was very, very good for us last year. Luckily she’s only a sophomore,” said Trifinov. “Her ball control has gotten much better. Her serving is much more consistent and she’s blocking.”
The Rattlers lost set three (20-25) and four (26-24) due to errors like missed serves, net violations, and balls being hit out of bounds.
FAMU secured the win in the fifth match with an ace made by freshman middle blocker, Candelaria Herrera.
“It’s my first game at home and I feel very comfortable,” said Herrera. “We are very happy about this win.”
“We just kept reminding her to make good contact with the ball and when that happens and she hits the ball flat, the ball just really drops,” said Trifinov.
Trifinov said that he is proud of his team and it “was a confidence booster” to win their first home game.
Florida A&M will travel to Jacksonville for a rematch against UNF on Sep. 27th.