Women struggle in Texas Tournament


Florida A&M Lady Rattlers volleyball team had aspirations of coming out of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas this past weekend as a winner.  


The team fell short as they lost to  Texas last Thursday (25-18, 25-18 and 25-10), and Illinois on Saturday (25-9, 25-15, and 25-15) in straight sets. They lost to Long Beach State in four games on Friday (25-17, 25-23, 25-10, and 25-20). Their record is now 0-6 for the season.


The Lady Rattlers went through their toughest part of the schedule going up against three teams in the top 25. Texas ranked No. 2, Illinois No. 3 and Long Beach State who which is ranked No. 23. 


The Lady Rattlers once again were plagued by inconsistencies and errors, which seem to be a constant theme in this season.


“Being inconsistent and committing a lot consecutive unforced errors cost us dearly,” Coach Tony Trifonov said. 


“You cannot afford to do that against top teams in the nation and expect to win. We lost 3 matches, we saw what we needed to work on, and saw what the top competition in the country brings.”


Trivinov said the volleyball team may not compete against teams of this caliber all season.


“Competition won’t get much better than that and it proves to the girls they can compete at that level, but we need more than that” Trifonov added. 


Florida A&M must improve on both sides of the ball if they want to stop their six game skid. Also, they must be more consistent to stay in the games longer.


“We have to improve our game every single set that’s our main focus,” said setter Jessica Bond.


The Lady Rattlers must put together a complete game if they want to return to last year’s form. 


Even though they have started off the season with six straight losses they are still confident they can get on the right track. 


“We are still confident, we took this past weekend as a learning experience,” said outside hitter Bianca Rucker. “Our next match is very crucial, it’s at home, and we need a W before conference play starts,” Rucker added.


The Lady will get another crack at putting a win in the books against the Mercer Bears (2-6) Sept. 14 at the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.


“Next game should be a winnable game and we’ll see how our girls respond after the six losses,” Trifonov said. “It’s not about how you start but how you finish.”