Lady Rattlers aim to capture MEAC Championship

Photo credit: Sydne Vigille

Expectations are still high for the FAMU Women’s Basketball team as they look to continue to improve in conference play.

The Lady Rattlers will have their work cut out for them, with four of the next five games being on the road, including an expected tough one against Norfolk State.

“We had a tougher preseason schedule this year, playing some of the bigger name schools,” senior center Shalaunda Burney-Robinson said. “We also have a younger team this year, but they are very quick learners.”

With the loss of key seniors and only seven returning players, the Lady Rattlers will be depending greatly on the strength of the underclassmen on the team. The preseason presented the team with competition like Kansas State and Texas Tech, both very prominent schools.

The Lady Rattlers are currently 4-14 on the season, sitting at 2-3 in conference play. The team is currently in the middle of a 12-day hiatus, as it’s last game was on Jan. 15 against Delaware State. The team has upcoming conference games against Hampton, Savannah State, and University Maryland Eastern Shore. The back end of the Lady Rattlers schedule consists of teams on the tail end of the MEAC.

This upcoming stretch for the Lady Rattlers can easily turn the season around, as most of their opponents are under the .500 mark and are at the bottom of the conference.

“The overall goal for this season is to overcome adversity and win the MEAC Championship,” freshman point guard Zhymani Smith said. “We have to continue to push in order to get better results.”

Injuries have plagued the team as well, as both the starting point guard and backup point guard were both injured, leaving most of the ball-handling duties to freshmen.

“Through all the adversity, we are going to fight no matter what,” Burney-Robinson said.

Last season, the Lady Rattlers finished 13-19, sitting at 9-7 in conference play. They have a chance to top both of those marks, due in part to a fairly manageable schedule.

With the tournament scheduled for Mar. 5, the Lady Rattlers have time to turn around their season and capture that MEAC crown as they have been preparing for.

“Those big preseason games will definitely help us when it comes time to play in the tournament,” Burney-Robinson said. “Our main goal is to win the MEAC.”