It was a tough weekend for the Florida A&M University volleyball program. The Rattlers came into the past weekend looking to add to their 2-1 record, the program’s best start to a season since 1997 when they began 3-0. But, they were only victorious in one of their three games, losing to Florida Gulf Cost University in their final game on Saturday.
The team kicked off the road trip with two games on Friday, the first against Florida International University and the second against the University of South Carolina-Upstate.
The Rattlers couldn’t defeat FIU, losing 3 sets to 1, but responded well with a dominant 3-0 performance over the USC Spartans.
They capped off the weekend with a game against FGCU, who had started their season with a 3-0 record.
Although the Rattlers entered the game with confidence, they were unable to defeat the Eagles. They lost three straight sets, finishing off their weekend with a 1-2 record.
Isis Williams, a third-year starting middle-hitter for the team, has her eyes set on one goal but hopes to accomplish many things for herself and her teammates.
“This season the ultimate goal is a championship ring,” Williams said. “Every day we are growing as individual players and as a unit. Every game, every practice we continue to improve. The games this weekend forced us to play a higher level of volleyball and we rose to occasion despite the outcome.”
Erica Jones, a third-year psychology major, has been keeping up with the team’s first couple of tournaments. She has noticed the growth in the team over the last two years and believes they are close to achieving their goal
“I feel like their chemistry has improved dramatically, and the addition of dominant players will be the key to their success in their transition from the MEAC to the SWAC in terms of competition.” Jones said.
The Rattlers made some moves in the offseason, adding three transfers: Marianna Donado, Dominique Washington and Domonique Turner, along with one freshman, Kalia Todd.
Washington, a junior outside hitter from Georgia Tech, has been making some noticeable strides in her first year with the team, and followed suit with a strong performance over the weekend. She leads the team in kills with 97, and is second in digs with 79 and blocks with 8.0 per game.
She was named to a second straight all-tournament team, with a new season high 29 kills in their first game against FIU.
The team, now 3-3, is headed to North Carolina to face off against Campbell University, College of Charleston and Idaho State this weekend.