Washington leads Rattlers’ quest for another championship

Star Volleyball player Dominique Washington earning a point for the rattlers! Photo courtesy of FAMU athletics.

It’s not every day that you get a high-caliber player to come to your school and immediately make an impact on the team’s performance and her teammates.

The Florida A&M volleyball team couldn’t be more thrilled to have transfer star outside hitter Dominique Washington on their side. Washington, who is a graduate transfer student from Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference, says that FAMU gave her a different feeling when making the decision to transfer.

“I wanted to experience playing and helping a program as well,” Washington said. “Tech has really helped me tremendously, but I also knew that I was ready to use my skills that I have acquired on the court somewhere else.”

It’s safe to say that Washington’s skills have been put to use thus far this season. With her help the Rattlers are now a commanding 6-0 in conference play and appear to be in good shape to repeat as SWAC champions for the second year in a row.

FAMU is on a three game winning streak, taking its last match against Prairie View A&M University 3-0. Washington led the way for the Rattlers with 14 kills, 8 digs, and 1 ace.

Washington says her experience at FAMU has been amazing.

“The endless support from athletics is very different from what I am used to,” she said. “FAMU was so welcoming when I first came, the team an I jelled super quick and we started playing well fairly fast. On top of that, having to use my leadership skills on the court has been great.”

Washington has most certainly grown and developed since joining the team, not only as a player, but also as a person.

“As a player I have grown mentally and as a leader,” Washington said. “Throughout my years at Georgia Tech I didn’t get many opportunities to prove myself
on the court, and that definitely took a toll on my confidence, but once I got to FAMU I realized that I am a skilled player that can help a team win championships.”

“I feel as though I have grown in becoming more aware of limiting my errors, and understanding how I can help my team when needed,” she added.

There is no doubt about her skills and what she brings to the court as the Rattlers already have a SWAC championship under their belts and look to repeat this season. They have even higher expectations than last year.

Head coach Gokhan Yilmaz spoke about the importance of having Washington on the team.

“She’s been an amazing addition to the team. She plays with high energy and her leadership skills are second to none,” he said. “This season we aim to win the
conference championship again,” Washington said. “We know that it will not be easy, and we will stay humble, and trust the process.”

Washington is well aware that there are plenty of teams in the SWAC looking forward to having the opportunity to beat them. “Many teams want to beat us because of our championship win last year, which makes it an even tougher battle, but we are ready for it. As long as we stay focused, committed, and disciplined, we will reach our goal.”

Teammate Brooke Hudson says that Washington’s presence is pivotal. “I think her presence is essential to our success. She is an all American, and transferred here from one of the best programs in the country. She gives us leadership and experience through her volleyball skills that we all look up to.”

Washington and the Rattlers look to extend to 7-0 in conference play when they take on Jackson State at 6 p.m. Friday.