Are we there yet? That is what most Rattler fans want to know about any collegiate sport played at FAMU. They are anxious to exclaim that “the Rattlers Are Back!” Well, in volleyball they are not there yet, but they are headed in the right direction.
Considering that the volleyball team is only 2-7, one might conclude that this writer is more than a bit optimistic. You are forgiven for thinking so. In their last outing the Rattlers played against some of the better teams in the country including Florida State, who is ranked 16th in NCAA Volleyball. The Rattlers lost all three matches, losing the other two games to Big 12 powerhouse Baylor University and the higher ranked Arkansas Little Rock Trojans. In spite of these loses the Rattlers showed a lot of promise.Like a computer program that evolves as it collects data over time, the 2016 Rattler Volleyball team has shown that they are willing to learn and improve. With each series the opponents have gotten tougher. The Rattlers have been able to stay in games and challenge these teams with their defense, while they get to know each other and figure out how to play to each other’s strength on offense. They’ll need to continue to show improvement as they take on the 8-1 Georgia Bulldogs in Athens later today.
Expect the Rattlers to battle the Bulldogs and give them a challenge. FAMU Coach Tanio Trifonov has gotten plenty of players on the court, rotating as many as 10 players in a match. That is because he has a strong freshman class complimented by juniors and seniors. In fact, all but one of the starters have been newcomers and between the old and the new Trifinov can offer different looks.
The Rattlers have an intelligent, talented and athletic team with lots of potential. How well they succeed will be determined by how much they are willing to learn and progress as a unit. That will be tested later in the week when they participate in the University of Florida tournament against the #8 Florida Gators, whose only loss has been to #1 Nebraska, the Marshall University Thundering Herd, and the Jacksonville Dolphins. This all leads up to a MEAC conference show down with the South Carolina State Bulldogs on September 23rd in Tallahassee, where Trifonov will look to send a message. Whether that message is that “the Rattlers Are Back” is TBD.