How volleyball plans to defend title

Photo Courtesy: FAMU Athletics

After claiming the 2021 Southwestern Athletic Conference championship, Rattler fans want to know
what’s next for Florida A&M’s volleyball team and how they plan to defend their title.

The 2021 SWAC volleyball tournament took place Nov.19-21, with FAMU defeating
Jackson State University in the final match.

2021 SWAC player of the year, and second-year graduate student Dominque Washington
believes determination and teamwork led them to their victory last season.

“Last year I believe we won because we wanted it so bad,” Washington said. “We practiced at 6 a.m. for
that moment. There wasn’t just one person who led us to that championship, it was a team effort
throughout the whole season. I think that’s what’s special about our team, we need everyone.”

Washington plays outside hitter. Along with being awarded Player of the Year, she has also
received titles such as All-Swac First Team and The Newcomer of the Year.

Brooklyn Watts, a transfer criminal justice major from Maryland is a new member of the team,
and says she has enjoyed coming into the program.

“Coming into a championship team as a transfer has been a fun process,” Watts said. “Right away I was
able to see how this was a winning team. My goal for this season is to help my team be successful no
matter what, and do whatever it takes to win.”

Watts, also an outside hitter, says she’s excited to see the team’s dedication transpire into success.

“We have all been working very hard to prepare and I’m excited to see our hard work pay off,”
Watts said.

When it comes to securing another championship, the players have the mindset of staying

“To secure another championship we have been focused on starting with a clean slate,” Dominque
Washington said. “We enjoyed the moment of winning, but we know this is a new year and teams will
come for us. In order to win, it is important that we stay humble and focused, but also driven.”

Washington also speaks on some of the team’s recent losses and how they have managed to keep a
positive mindset.

“Although we haven’t gotten the desired outcome for these games, we have learned so much for
the future,” Washington said. “ We are excited to keep striving for some great wins.”

An article by the Tallahassee Democrat discussed Coach Yilmaz’s outlook on the season ahead.

“With most of the team returning, head coach Gokhan Yilmaz believes that the chemistry and
undoubted talent will allow them to reach the same heights of a season ago.”
Fans wanting to follow the team this season can find their schedule on the FAMU Athletics website.