Lady Rattlers volleyball catching fire late in the season


FAMU Volleyball is now 9-11overall and 6-1 in Mid-Eastern-Athletic Conference play, with only four conference matches left before the MEAC Volleyball Tournament. 

After falling short of a MEAC Championship for the last six years, the Lady Rattlers are determined to take back their now long ago, undisputed title and throne. 

Sophomore team Captain Maria Garcia spoke about the chances she feels her team has at winning this year’s tournament. 

“We have high chances to win the MEAC this year,” Garcia, who earned First Team All-Conference honors last season added, “But we have to put more effort and passion into it.” 

Garcia earned a total of 34 kills in this past weekend’s back-to-back wins over South Carolina State (SCU) and Savannah State University (SSU). The Rattlers won both matches in dominant fashion as they handled SCU (25-14, 25-14, 25-13) and SSU (25-14, 25-14, 25-13).

Maria Yvette Garcia with the incoming kill.
Photo credit: FAMU Athletics

 Another sophomore standout is Radka Dimitrova, who contributed 23 kills for the Rattlers. Valeria Lopez, a senior setter for the Lady Rattlers, earned a total of 65 assists in both wins. 

Lopez commented on what has been fueling her spectacular play. 

“Personally this is my last chance to earn a MEAC Championship title, so every game I play like it’s my last. I feel like the other girls feel the same.” 

The Lady Rattlers have been competitive in their six year MEAC title drought. Though unfortunately for the squad the ending has been bittersweet. 

Assistant Coach Gohkan Yilmaz who was here to experience last year’s season, feels a major key to winning is teamwork. A challenge we face now is getting everyone on the same page and making sure they play for the same goal. I always believe that being a team is more important.” 

FAMU is striving for wins in these next few matches to prepare what will be a tough MEAC tournament. The Lady Rattlers have shown flashes of greatness against MEAC rivals North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T. Whom they are an unblemished 3-0 in competition against both foes this season. 

For the Lady Rattlers, MEAC rival Bethune-Cookman will provide a great test on Sunday November 5th. Earlier in the season BCU defeated the Lady Rattlers, dishing them their first conference loss of the season.

Back in 2015, the Lady Rattlers were hit hard by the Lady Wildcats, losing their number one seed for the first time in years. Though this year’s squad is determined to strike back. The number one seed is a goal that Garcia does not take lightly. “We need to beat Bethune to raise our standings so we can go into the championship first in the Southern Division.” For FAMU, it is all about finishing strong. Sunday’s contest against BCU is scheduled for 3 pm.