Lady Rattlers spiked at MEAC tournament

After going undefeated in conference play all season, the Lady Rattlers volleyball team lost against Coppin State University 3-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference semifinal round.

The conference tournament began Friday in Baltimore and ended Sunday. The tournament hosted a series of matches between eight teams. Florida A&M won the opening round against Norfolk State University 3-0.

Head volleyball coach Tanio Trifonov received the MEAC Coach of the Year award for the sixth season. He said he is not interested in personal accomplishments but is interested in a championship.

“Being Coach of the Year doesn’t matter,” Trifonov said. “Winning championships is what matters. We had a combination of bad shots and bad luck, but we did nothing different from what we have previously done.”

Katherine Huanec, a senior outside hitter, led the Lady Rattlers with 17 kills on 32 attacks in the tournament. Senior setter Diana Gonzales finished with 36 assists, and Joanie Del Castillo, a junior libero, had 13 digs.

Dei’Ja Martin, a freshman middle blocker, believes the team finished strong and has a good overview of what needs to be done to produce a championship.

“We put forth a good run, and we definitely pushed hard until the very end,” Martin said. “One thing we must work on is staying consistent in our efforts and strategy.”

Andrea Soriano, a junior outside hitter for the Lady Rattlers, said she and her teammates stuck to their game plan and played their game.

Yeisha Arcia, a sophomore outside hitter, led the Lady Rattlers with 22 kills and a team-high 13 digs. Huanec and Ginna Lopez-Chavez, a sophomore middle blocker, finished with 15 and 14 kills respectively. Gonzales chipped in with 57 digs as FAMU concluded the season with going 10-0 in regular season conference play and 15-7 overall record.