Team set for competition

After 10 days of rest, the Lady Rattler volleyball team is more than prepared for its upcoming games Friday against North Carolina A&T and Sunday versus South Carolina State.

Their last game was Nov. 4 at Troy State. The team came out victorious 3-0 (30-12, 30-23, 30-12). Sophomore Adriana Kostadinova led both teams with a match-high 15 kills. The Lady Rattlers dominating defense only allowed the Trojans to notch 27 kills.

Before that game, Kostadinova was named Player of the Week for her performance in the matches against Morgan State Oct. 31, Coppin State Nov. 1 and Howard Nov. 2. She had 37 kills and eight aces in her nine games played. This was the third time this season she received such accolades.

Also receiving Player of the Week honors this season (Oct. 20) was sophomore Andreina Ruiz. Ruiz leads the team with 237 digs for an average of three digs per game.

The Lady Rattlers have only two matches left in regular season play. They proved their merit once again this season by not losing any games to MEAC opponents. Their only game and match losses were in non-conference matches.

“They’re [FAMU] career favorites,” said University of Maryland-Eastern Shore Head Coach Toby Rens. “They are undefeated in the MEAC and are the favorites to win again this year.”

FAMU is in the top rankings for NCAA volleyball. They are ranked fourth in the nation with a .347 hitting percentage and No. 17 with an average of 16.5 kills per game. Junior Jayli Jackson is 7th with a .428 attack percentage and also leads the team with 65 total blocks.

“It’s great playing here,” said Jackson. “FAMU is a very family-oriented school and it’s good to be here and have the support of everyone rooting for us.”

Friday at 6 p.m. FAMU (21-3 overall 11-0 MEAC) plays in its second, last regular season match against N. Carolina A&T. This match is also Senior Night for the team’s only senior Ursula Jara. The Aggies are coming off a 3-0 win over Delaware State on Halloween 30-16, 30-11, 30-21.

“North Carolina A&T is not that bad,” said head coach Tony Trifonov. “We are just going to try and keep the competitive edge and complete the year with all 3-0 matches.”

South Carolina State enters the Sunday match at 1 p.m. also off a win over the Hornets. Their match Nov. 2 went to four games 27-30, 30-17, 30-24, 30-25.

The MEAC Championship Tournament begins Nov. 20 in Greensboro, N.C. Following that tournament are the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament Dec. 4.

“They’re [the players] are supposed to be peaking both physically and mentally at the end of the season, and I think that’s just what thy are doing,” Trifonov said.