Volleyball team set for MEAC home opener

The Florida A&M Rattlers are on a two-game winning streak as they get ready to do battle with the South Carolina State Bulldogs Friday at home in the Al Lawson Center.

Florida A&M is coming of a 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 25-21 L, 25-17) win against the Norfolk State Spartans. The Lady Rattlers forced their opponents into more errors during their two-game winning streak, leading to success.

“Any time you put a winning streak together is always the right time,” head coach Tony Trifonov said. “But I rather put a winning streak together when conference play starts.”

The Gamecocks (5-16, 0-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) are winless on the road. The Lady Rattlers (2-11, 1-0 in the MEAC) have not won a game at home this season.

This is the Lady Rattlers first home game since Sept. 14 and the team is eager to play in front of the home crowd.

“Of course we’re excited to play home because we don’t have to travel and the kids can sleep in their beds,” Trifonov said.

Coming off a long road trip, the Lady Rattlers jumped into conference play and now deal with the huge target that comes with being nine-time defending MEAC Champions.

“We do have a bull’s-eye on our back, we have to stay composed and confident,” said outside hitter Bianca Rucker. “A lot of MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) fear FAMU and we have to work twice as hard to maintain that level of respect.”

Trifonov said he will rely heavily on his servers throughout the game versus South Carolina State.

“In order to exploit South Carolina’s weaknesses we have to serve aggressively and get them out of system,” Trifonov said. “In conference we are relying on our servers to do well and pass the ball well. So we can run our offense.”

The Florida A&M volleyball team has an impressive record of 129-3 over the past 14 years in conference play. A win against South Carolina State would extend the team’s conference winning streak to 20.

The last time Florida A&M lost a conference game was Oct. 17, 2007, against the South Carolina State Bulldogs.