TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 12) - Senior middle blocker Pamela Barrera and freshman outside hitter Yeisha Arcia finished with 15 kills each as the Florida A&M Volleyball team picked up their fifth consecutive conference win of the season with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-20) win over arch-rival Bethune-Cookman, here Friday night at the Al Lawson Center in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup.
FAMU head coach Trifonov was pleased with the overall outcome of the match. " We showed some improvement tonight. We are beginning to get the balance we need to be successful. It was great to see such a big and supportive crowd tonight...they really helped," Trifonov said.
Trifonov's reference was to a promotional push by the FAMU Athletics marketing department. It resulted in one of the largest crowds to attend a volleyball since the team moved to the Lawson Center. Several groups of FAMU Students piled into the Lawson Center to support the Lady Rattlers, while tactfully jeering at the Wildcats.
Barrera felt the presence of the crowd helped the team focus. "When we heard the crowd, it helped us get motivated to play. There was a period where we were kind of lackluster in our play, but the crowd helped bring us back," Barrera said.
Maria Ceccarelli was the only other Lady Rattler to finish in double-digit kills with 10, while Diana Gonzalez led FAMU in assists with 42. Karol Marquez led the team in digs with 14.
B-CU (3-20, 3-2 MEAC) was led by Krysta Gardner as she finished with a team-high 10 kills and seven digs on the night, while Monica Lowe finished with 26 assists.
FAMU (7-8, 5-0 MEAC) took a 15-6 lead on a Katherine Huanec kill in the first set. The Lady Rattlers would go on to win the set 25-12 as they finished the set on a 10-6 run.
The second set would be totally different from the first, as B-CU and FAMU would tie each other on four different occasions. B-CU would tie the set at 9-9 on a FAMU attack error and again at 10-10 on a Gardner kill.
FAMU would then tie the set at 13-13 and 14-14 on a Lady Wildcat attack error. The Lady Rattlers would use four straight kills to take an 18-14 lead on two kills by Arcia, and a pair of kills by Barerra.
B-CU would cut the Lady Rattlers' lead to 20-18 as they used a 4-2 run on kills by Gardner and Delicia Pierra.
Arica and Barrera would then record a combined three kills for the 25-21 win in the second set.
The third and final set would be a mirror image of the second set at it saw four lead changes with 10 points left to go in the set.
FAMU increased their lead to 15-10 on a B-CU service error. B-CU rallied off five straight points to tie the set at 15-15, and took a 17-16 lead, capped off by a Pierre kill.
Arcia would tie the set at 17-17 for the Lady Rattlers. FAMU would then end the set with an 8-3 run for the 25-20 set win for the 3-0 sweep of the Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Rattlers will return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 16 as FAMU will travel to Jacksonville, Fla., to take of Jacksonville University in a 6 p.m. start.