Florida A&M captured its seventh straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Volleyball Championship with a 3-1 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore, Saturday afternoon at Holland Hall on the campus of Hampton (Va.) University.
The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers battled back and forth with the Lady Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore during game one, pulling out the win at 31-29. MEAC Player of the Year, Whitney Johnson led the Lady Hawks with a game-high eight kills, while Rookie of the Year Jovana Blaseski tallied five kills for the Lady Rattlers.
Game two was much of the same with each team going point-for-point. Tied at 23 the Lady Rattlers answered with two straight points, only to have the Lady Hawks answer back with three of their own. A service ace by Christina Estebaneâ€™ won the match for the Lady Hawks at 31-29. The win was the first that the Lady Rattlers allowed during a championship match since the 1999 season when they defeated Morgan State, 3-1.
Tied at nine in game three, the Lady Hawks scored seven straight points to take the lead 16-9. Florida A&M would fight back and tie the game at 20. Another rally by Lady Rattlers behind the play of senior Hannah Uckelman, who recorded the Lady Rattlers last three points, would end the game at 30-24.
Florida A&M scored the first four points during game four. The Lady Hawks answered with a kill by Estebaneâ€™ to get on the board. Florida A&M held a one point advantage over Maryland Eastern Shore 20-19 when a combination of kills for the Lady Rattlers and attack errors by Maryland Eastern Shore allowed Florida A&M to win the game 30-21.
The loss by Maryland Eastern Shore snapped a 23-match win streak and concluded their season at 24-4.
â€œI am so pleased with the way we played, explained Maryland Eastern Shore Head Coach Don Metil. We have a young team; we are only losing two student-athletes, so we are only going to get stronger next year. I have a positive outlook even though it wasnâ€™t the end the to the perfect season like we hopedâ€
2007 MEAC All-Tournament Team
Jeniqua Moran, Morgan State
Christina Estebaneâ€™, Maryland Eastern Shore
Zaira Manzo, Florida A&M
Whitney Johnson, Maryland Eastern Shore
Holiday Eller, Maryland Eastern Shore
Iva Lakic, Florida A&M
Outstanding Player: Iva Lakic, Florida A&M
Outstanding Coach: Tony Trifonov, Florida A&M