By TAYLOR YOUNG
Sports Information Assistant
“The encouraging news for us is that they keep improving every match they play,” said head coach Tony Trifonov this week, as he leads the FAMU Women’s Volleyball team into the second half of the 2017 season.
The Lady Rattlers (3-8) had a challenging start during their pre-conference schedule against a number of teams, including No. 1 ranked University of Florida, but the Rattlers held their own.
Two weeks ago, the ladies traveled to Gainesville for the Florida Invitational, where they faced Northern Kentucky in their final match, capturing a 3-1 victory.
The Rattlers kept up the momentum on Tuesday, Sept. 19, opening their home schedule against North Florida, defeating them in a five set match, 3-2.
FAMU’s dynamic 2017 team is led by sophomore power hitters Nicole Abreu, who has 147 kills, 165 digs, and 11 blocks, as well as, Maria Yvette Garcia who has 144 kills, 114 digs, and 18 blocks.
Junior libero, Valentina Carrasco has 219 digs thus far and was awarded MEAC Defensive Player of the Week for averaging 6.7 digs at the Florida Invitational.
Freshman middle Candelaria Herrera was awarded MEAC Rookie of the Week for knocking down 13 kills and playing a big role in the key match that won the home-opener against UNF.
These Rattlers are only getting started according to coach Trifonov.
“The expectation is to go undefeated in the MEAC conference and the goal is get a high seat for the MEAC tournament then win.” Trifonov said. Winning the MEAC tournament will get the Rattlers a NCAA tournament bid.
The Lady Rattlers will be in play again this week in Jacksonville as they take on the University of North Florida, on Wednesday, Sept. 27th at 6 p.m.
They will begin conference play on the road, Friday, Sept. 29th at South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C., and Sunday, Oct. 1 at Savannah State in Savannah, Ga., followed by a visit to rival Bethune-Cookman, next Friday, Oct. 6.
The Rattlers host North Carolina Central in their MEAC home opener on Friday, Oct. 13th at 7 p.m., and North Carolina A&T on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3:00 p.m.