After a long first four games on the road, the FAMU volleyball team was excited to finally be back in Tallahassee Friday for their home opener against Yale from the Ivy League.
Four sets were played in this high-intensity best-of-five match, with Yale prevailing 3-1. FAMU fell to 0-5.
The Rattlers most certainly put on a show for the crowd and competed every step of the way with the Bulldogs to win the first set 28-26.
Defensive specialist Brooke Hudson led the way for FAMU with a whopping 15 digs in the game, making critical plays down the stretch in both the first and second set to keep the Rattlers in reach of the Bulldogs.
FAMU started off the second set with high potential with a 4-0 lead. However, it did not last as the Bulldogs began to stand their ground and claimed the set, 25-23.
The reigning SWAC champions started the last two sets a little sluggish, being down by as much as 10 points in each set. The third set concluded with a score of 25-15 as the Rattlers couldn’t get out of their hole. The fourth set revealed one of two important takeaways from the home opener as the Rattlers ultimately lost the set 25-13 This match showed us that the Rattlers are explosive, stout and cohesive as a unit. However, it also showed us that they have a few things to work on when it comes to discipline and follow-through.
“After the first two sets, they started serving tougher and we kind of had a hard time competing with that,” FAMU coach Gokhan Yilmaz said. “It’s always a good experience to play tough teams. They were very good today and hopefully this will help us to see some of our weaknesses and improve upon them.”
“It’s early in the year. We wanted to play with high intensity and that was our focus coming out of our match against FSU and we came here today and did just that,” he added. “However, after a certain point in the game it just seemed like we could never find that high energy again and that’s something we have to work on.”
Junior transfer Jada Taylor described the match as a learning experience.
“I learned not to underestimate any team and I learned to stay true to what I know and handle the game all the way through,” she said.
Taylor who transferred from Grambling State, recorded a team best 514 digs (ranked second in the SWAC) during her sophomore season in 2021.
Second year player Emerald Jacobs Gabe was impressed that FAMU won first set against Yale.
“We were really excited to have the opportunity to take a game away from a team like that, we definitely have some things to work on when it comes to finishing and going all the way through, but these are things that we’ll get better at,” Gabe said.
The Rattlers’ next game is match is at 1 p.m. today against James Madison University in the Lawson Center.