Rattlers volleyball team secures win over Bulldogs

Senior Volleyball player Valentina Carrasco prepares her serve. 
Photo By: FAMU Athletics

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers volleyball team effortlessly snagged the win Monday with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-9, 25-19) victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs.

This marks the fourth win of the season for the team and the Lady Rattlers proved they can bounce back from adversity, such as the loss from rival HBCU Bethune-Cookman University and the rescheduling from Hurricane Michael.

 FAMU currently ranks second in the Southern Division of the MEAC at 2-1. Collectively, the Lady Rattlers are third in digs per set (14.22) and blocks per set (1.96). They’re fifth in kills (10.73) and sixth in hitting percentage (.142).

“I think this win was just what they needed,” said freshman Markeema Johnson. “The beginning of the season wasn’t looking too good for them so hopefully they can keep the same energy in their other games.”

The energy was definitely on the court tonight. Dynamic duo Maria Garcia and Radka Dimitrova, both outside hitters, kept the Bulldogs on their toes by knocking down almost half of their kill attempts during the first set. Aybuke Kocabiyik also blocked her opponent’s kills while teammate Kalen Blathers continuously helped with assists. Garcia, a junior, led the way for FAMU with 16 kills.

Although the Lady Bulldogs put in major effort, they still were not able to match the exertion of the Rattlers, making this win look incredibly easy.

“We always talk about the FAMU game,” says Jamal Gaskins, a senior at South Carolina State and the brother of one of the Lady Bulldogs. “It might be one of their favorite games even if they don’t win. It’s a good challenge and a little friendly competition never hurts.”

When asked what he thinks the Bulldogs fell short of in the game, Gaskins said “Probably stability and execution. There were times when you had more than one player yelling “I got it! I got it!” and then they fell over each other. So I think that’s something the girls can work on.”

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, seven of the Lady Rattlers sit in the top 10 MEAC rankings in various categories: Maria Garcia (3.71 kills; third and 4.16 points; fourth), Aubuke Kocabiyik (0.96 blocks; fourth and .246 hitting percentage sixth), Ilayda Nurkan (6.31 assists; eighth), Elena Dimitrova 5.76 assists; ninth), Alexis Gosha (.082 blocks; seventh), and Valentina Carrasco (3.82 digs; sixth).

The Lady Rattlers will take on Savannah State Tuesday at 6pm On Friday, Oct. 26 they will welcome North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. And on Sunday, Oct. 28 they will go against North Carolina Central at 1 p.m.