Volleyball gains late momentum

The Florida A&M volleyball team won two games this weekend against the Jacksonville University Dolphins and the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats.

The Lady Rattlers have improved their record to 10-13 and 6-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and they have won 10 of their last 12 games.

Florida A&M defeated the Dolphins in five sets Saturday (25-23 L, 25-23, 27-25, 25-19 L, 15-13). The game was more competitive and closer than the last game against Jacksonville University in which the Dolphins dictated the pace throughout the game.

Head coach Tony Trifonov said the victory over the Dolphins was a big win for the Lady Rattlers at this stage of the season.

“We didn’t play as well as they had hoped, it is a bit emotional to get the kids fired up, and we struggled with confidence throughout the season,” Trifonov said. “We needed a win against a team we lost to in the beginning of the season so they can see and believe the improvement they made throughout the seasons so it was a very important game.”

Jacksonville University head coach Shaun Kupferberg said Florida A&M was a completely different team than the one his team faced earlier in the season.

“Florida A&M was a lot more confident this time around,” Kupferberg said. “They are a very consistent team and if you make mistakes they will make you pay for it, and they made us pay today.”

Florida A&M had a hitting percentage of .221 for the game and the Lady Dolphins had a percentage of .259. The Lady Rattlers had a season-high 68 kills in the victory, and three players had double-digit kills.

The second victory for the Lady Rattlers was Sunday against the Wildcats in four sets, 3-1 (25-17, 26-10, 25-22 L, 25-12).

“Having the band and the good crowd helped especially today against the Lady Wildcats and every time we play at home, the crowd energizes us,” Trifonov said.

The last conference home game will be against the Norfolk State Spartans Sunday in the Al Lawson Center and it will be senior night for the Lady Rattlers.