The game keeps changing, but the results remain the same. When USF plays Florida Atlantic in volleyball, the Bulls win – always.
USF improved its all-time record vs. FAU in volleyball to 11-0 Tuesday as the Bulls (8-3) beat the Owls 30-26, 30-27, 30-24.In the 11 meetings, USF and FAU have played 30 games, with FAU winning just one.
Led by senior outside hitters Michelle Collier and Jolene Patton, the USF attack overwhelmed the Owls. As a team, the Bulls struck for a .280 attack percentage on the evening. The Bulls planted 51 kills, while committing 21 errors.
Collier and Patton topped the USF kill charts as Collier went for a match high 23, and Patton supplied 13. The duo both topped the .400 mark in attack percentage with Collier leading the way at .436 and Patton close behind at .409.
Patton and Collier both posted double-doubles as well, tallying 14 and 11 digs respectively.
Cruising with a 20-11 advantage in the decisive third set, USF got an opportunity to showcase some of its newcomers. Setter Melayne Wooten, a junior college transfer from Scottsdale Community College, picked up all 18 of her assists in the final set in relief of starter Ale Domingos, who set up 24 kills in the first two games.
After FAU (5-9) went on an 11-6 run to draw the Owls within 26-22, Wootan dished out USF’s next four points as the Bulls won the set 30-24.
Freshman middle blocker Corinne Walsh also started the third game, spiking four kills on seven attempts for a .286 attack percentage. Walsh, out of Evergreen Park, Ill., brought some defense, too, recording one solo block and two assists.
In addition to a strong outside attack, the Bulls’ defense did a stellar job of controlling the ball. USF doubled FAU’s block output (8-4) and had a simplistic time of handling the Owls’ spikes. The Bulls registered 42 digs out of the Owls’ 118 attempts, holding FAU’s attack percentage to a meager .186.
USF started slowly in each of the first two games, allowing FAU to grab early leads in both. The Bulls and Owls were knotted at 21 in the second game, but USF managed to pull ahead to a comfortable 28-23 margin before claiming the game 30-27.
USF trailed 13-11 nearing the midway point of Game 1, but the Bulls ran off a 5-0 run to grab its first lead of the set. FAU crept back into the game at 25-24 but could never overtake USF as the Bulls took the next three points on their way to a 30-26 victory.
Contact Oracle Sports Editor Anthony Gagliano at firstname.lastname@example.org