The Florida A&M University Rattlers volleyball team took on their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) rivals Bethune Cookman University on Friday evening but fell short to the Wildcats in four sets (26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 26-24).
Not only did the Rattlers play their rivals on Friday night, but they also hosted their Senior night and said their final goodbyes to senior Elena Dimitrova (setter) and Garcia (outside hitter).
FAMU Volleyball head coach, Gokhan Yilmaz expressed how proud he was of his seniors and all they have accomplished while on this team.
“We love them, they work hard every day, (and because of them) helping us to get better for the future I’m proud of both of them for playing really well today,” Yilmaz said.
The Rattlers and the Wildcats got off to a completive start in the first set, as the Wildcats kicked off the serve, which forced FAMU to side out. Marcia Garcia (outside hitter) got a kill advancing the Rattlers 2-3.
Despite the close loss against the Wildcats in the first set, the Rattlers woke the fans up with an exciting win in the second set. Alexis Gosha (outside hitter) was able to get six kills during that set.
The two rival teams continued to battle out for the next two sets. As the momentum in Gaither Gymnasium grew, the Rattlers continued to leave everything on the court. Though the rattlers still have many tasks to complete to improve defensively, Garcia expressed how much she has seen the team grow since she was a freshman.
“Our team has leadership; I think they are going to be a really good group next year because they are hard-working,” Garcia said.
Both players and coaches feel that Garcia and Dimitrova have left a huge impact on this team. Garcia had a total of 28 kills along with 13 digs, while Dimitrova had eight kills, 23 assists, and nine digs.
Reanna Wilson (middle blocker)shared her sentiment about the energy and leadership the senior class was able to provide on the court throughout the season.
“I think our seniors played amazing, they have always brought great energy and great coaching for the freshman, they’re so good and they have an amazing skill set,” Wilson said.
The Rattlers are now 9-18 (6-6 MEAC) and will look to finish the season off strong.
Next week the Rattlers will face North Carolina Central at 6 p.m. in Durham, N.C. Following that game, the Rattlers will play North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C. for their last game.