Florida Gulf Coast Eagles soar above Lady Rattlers

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers fell to the Florida Gulf Coast Lady Eagles on Sunday in the Florida State University/FAMU Tournament 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19).

Senior outside hitter Katherine Huanec led the game in kills, racking up a total of 23. Sophomore middle blocker Ginna Lopez-Chavez followed with 14.

In the first set, the Lady Eagles (1-5) and Lady Rattlers (1-5) rallied and fought, but FGCU’s ability to place the ball led to the team’s two-point win. Junior outside hitter Jessica Barnes had six kills and junior setter Gigi Meyer put up 12 assists to help take the set.

“I think we learned how to bounce back,” Barnes said. “We had to find a lot of energy for this game.”

In the second set, the Lady Rattlers fought using their defense, digging a total of 19 balls. They won the set with the same two-point gap they lost by. Huanec was a key player with seven kills.

As the game continued, the sets remained close in score and became more intense. This was a different look for FAMU, which lost sets by double-digits on Friday against Western Kentucky University.

“We improved our intensity and communication,” said FAMU freshman middle blocker Dei’ Ja Martin.

Head coach Tanio Trifnov said the team performed better this time but still needs work.

“Since WKU, we improved our serve receive,” he said. “We still have loss of concentration but not as much as we did Friday.”

Despite losing the final two sets and the match, the Lady Rattlers remain positive and look forward to getting better.

“We still have girls who are out and not playing,” Trifnov said. “We need to adjust and continue working on serve receive.”

FAMU will return to action Tuesday against North Florida University at 7 p.m.