TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 18) – The FAMU Women’s Volleyball team will close out its’ 2019 pre-conference schedule this weekend in the three-match Trojan Classic set at Troy (Ala.) University, Friday and Saturday.
FAMU (1-8) will open this weekend’s event against Southern University of Baton Rouge, on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Saturday, the Rattler Women will play two bouts, facing off against The Citadel at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, before closing out the tourney against host Troy University at 7:00 p.m.
Coach Gokhan Yilmaz’ group has fought valiantly through the early season matches with six of their nine matches going four sets or more.
The Rattlers’ lone win came in the season opener against Texas Southern, 3-0, in the Alabama State Hornet Invitational on August 30.
Preseason MEAC Player of the Year, graduate outside Maria Yvett Garcia, lead FAMU in kills with 91 through 30 sets, ranking her ninth in the MEAC at 2.74 kills per set. Junior outside Alexis Gosha, who is fully healthy for the first time in her FAMU career, is second on the club with 85 kills.
FAMU ranks number one in Blocks in the MEAC (1.87 per set), led by a pair of newcomers, Alyssa Brown (#3 at 0.87 per set) and Alexys Mann (#5 at 0.85 per set).
The Rattlers rank number four in the league in digs (12.94 per set), paced by first-year performer Celeste Rodriguez (140 in 34 sets), who ranks No. 2 in the MEAC, averaging 4.06 digs per set.
Senior Elena Dimitrova ranks seventh in the Assists with a 5.25 per set average (165 assists in 31 sets).
MEAC PLAY LOOMS
Although they are ineligible for the MEAC Tournament due to a one-year NCAA postseason ban, FAMU was still predicted to win a share of the Southern Division title along with archrival Bethune-Cookman.
Conference play in 2019 takes on a new wrinkle, as all schools will play teams from the opposite division
In addition to the eight Southern Division matches featuring home-and-home series against B-CU, South Carolina State, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central, FAMU will face off against the six teams from the Northern Division.
Two of those crossover clashes – vs. Norfolk (Va.) State (Sept. 27 – 7:00 p.m.) and Howard University (Sept. 29 – 3:00 p.m.) – will open league play next weekend in the Al Lawson Center.
Overall, FAMU will host Norfolk State, Howard, Coppin State and Morgan State, while travelling North to Maryland-Eastern Shore and Delaware State.