Rattlers volleyball closes with win over Bulldogs

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers volleyball team successfully closed out the regular season with a 3-0 (30-16, 30-13, 30-17) victory over the Bulldogs of South Carolina State.

The undefeated Lady Rattlers have won 84 consecutive MEAC games, so it was no surprise when they sent the Bulldogs home after the first three matches.

Adriana Kostadinova led the number-one ranked Lady Rattlers with a game-high 14 kills. Junior teammate, Maria Andonova slammed down eight kills while Diana Genkova helped with 34 assists. Senior Andreina Ruiz contributed to the team’s victory with 10 digs.

The Lady Bulldogs put up a fight but were clearly no match for the defending champions.

Monique Walker led the Lady Bulldogs with six kills. Teammates Vicki Jeter and Gisela Kloess had five kills apiece, a game-high 23 digs was held by Aubrey Posados.

The high spiking Lady Rattlers all agreed that playing their last game makes you remember all the good things about playing volleyball.

“I feel like I have accomplished a great achievement, but I’ll miss my team. We have been together for so long and now we have to go our separate ways,” said Jayli Jackson, senior middle blocker.

Jackson’s teammate Adriana Kostadinova said she’ll miss being with the team as well. “It’s sad because it’s my last game. I’ll miss is my team, four years is a long time to be together and we’re like a family.”

Although the seniors are sad that they have to leave and take on new challenges in life they have some great memories to take with them forever.

“This year we started to get fans and now I have to leave. My favorite memory is when we beat number-one ranked Nebraska. It was so exciting,” said Ruiz.

“I will always remember when we won in the first round in the NCAA tournament,” said Jackson.

Senior middle blocker, Gulian Velorio says that she enjoyed playing for FAMU. “I miss home but I love playing here (FAMU). I have met so many new friends.”

After the game the seniors accepted roses, balloons, and a commemorative player photo from Head Coach Tony Trifonov.

Trifonov says the seniors will be hard to replace. “It’s tough when you lose four great players. They made major contributions to the team. They helped get us to the NCAA tournament.”

The team’s next stop is to the 2005 MEAC volleyball championship tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The Lady Rattlers have notched the number one seed and will play number eight seed Hampton in the first round of the tournament on Friday, November 18 at 11 a.m.

Coach Trifonov says that he plans to win his fourth consecutive MEAC championship and then get ready for the Long Beach tournament. If they place high, they’ll get a good seed for this seasons NCAA tournament.

Contact Quidara Russell at thefamuansports@hotmail.com