TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 8) – The return of FAMU Women’s Volleyball to venerable Jake Gaither Gym was bittersweet Friday evening, as the Rattlers dropped a 3-1 (24-26, 25-23, 20-25, 24-26) to archrival Bethune-Cookman in their final home match for 2019.
It was also Senior Night, as FAMU said goodbye to graduate outside Maria Yvett Garcia and senior setter Elena Dimitrova as they played their final home match in the Orange and Green.
The match had its’ moments of intensity, but numerous unforced errors cost the Rattlers dearly on Friday, as they fought to stay with Bethune-Cookman (8-20, 5-6 MEAC) through four hard-fought sets.
The Lady ‘Cats won the opening and closing sets, 26-24, as FAMU constantly rallied after falling behind. FAMU won the second set, 25-23, before dropping the third stanza, 25-20.
In the fourth set actually saw FAMU take an 18-13 lead giving the Gaither Gym fans hope of extending to a fifth set. But the Wildcats rallied past FAMU with a 13-6 surge.
FAMU fought back to tie the score at 21, 23 and 24, before B-CU won the set on two FAMU attack errors.
Garcia led FAMU with a career high 28 kills, along with 13 digs. Junior outside Alexis Gosha finished with 13 kills and 16 digs, while senior Elena Dimitrova had eight kills, 23 assists and nine digs.
Junior Ilayda Nurkan led FAMU with 30 assists, while freshman libero Nahla Muhammad led with 17 digs.
Faith Landreneaux led B-CU with 13 kills, followed by Jordan Jefferson with 10 kills and 13 digs.Ryleigh Taylor had a team-high 21 assists, while Shayla Eugene finished with a team-high 20 digs.
WHAT’S NEXT: FAMU (9-18, 6-6 MEAC) close the season on the orad next weekend at North Carolina Central (Friday, 7:00)) and North Carolina A&T (Sunday, 1:00).