The Florida A&M Rattlers fell to the Troy University Trojans, suffering a critical 6-1 loss on their home court on February 23. The Trojans swept the Rattlers, earning the first win of their 2018 tennis season.
The Rattlers made several performance errors and failed to communicate with their fellow teammates throughout the match, which cost them the victory. In the doubles game, the Rattlers struggled to secure only one win out of three matches as Troy’s star players, Pelayo Antuna and Jiaqi Duan, teamed up to earn a 6-4 win.
According to junior Jermaine Le Grand, who is the number four player for the Rattlers, one of the major areas that the team needs to focus on is communication on the court.
“We need to work on our communication, because it helps players get on the same page and assures that everyone is working together, which is essential to helping us win,” said Le Grand.
FAMU’s junior player Noureldin Adam, who was the only player to score, helped to put up a tough fight against Troy. Unfortunately, the Rattlers only managed to win one of the single games, as the Trojans dominated four out of five matches in just two sets.
“Although we didn’t play our best game today, with communication, consistency and dedication to elevate our skillsets, I’m confident that we can conquer any team,” said Adam.
Seeing how tough Troy was and that they weren’t off to a good start, the Rattlers began to motivate each other to keep on pushing. “Keep your head up boys. We got this!” yelled freshman Bernard Thomas III.
Jermaine Le Grand expressed his thoughts about the Rattlers’ performance against Troy. He said that no matter what, teamwork is the key to success.
“As players, it is important that we always keep our energy levels up and have fun doing what we do best,” he said. “Taking the time to remember that we are all playing together as a team and that we need to support each other in whatever way possible, whether we are winning, losing, or not playing at all is critical. It’s smallest things that makes a difference between a win and a loss.”
While the Rattlers fought hard, they did not fight hard enough to maintain control over the Trojans.