After breezing through the first two matches of the Radisson Western Michigan Invitational, South Florida volleyball lost in the fifth game to Western Michigan 28-30, 30-25, 30-24, 21-30, 11-15.
“They played a good match. I just think that we had a lot of players that didn’t step up when they needed to,” coach Nancy Mueller said. “We came out a little flat, and they took advantage of our weaknesses.”
Ale Domingos had a .500 hitting percentage with eight kills and 49 assists in the match.
Rachel Jobes, Shameka Mitchell, Jolene Patton and Michelle Collier had double-digit kills with Collier leading the way with 18 for the Bulls.
USF (10-4) had its worst hitting match of the tournament, with .134. To open the tournament the Bulls hit .380 against Syracuse.
Collier had 18 kills and 15 digs, and Jolene Patton had 11 kills and 15 digs.
“I think it was successful, yet I think we could have been better,” Mueller said. “Our loss was very disappointing. Western Michigan played a great match against us, and I don’t think we came out prepared.”
Collier and Domingos were selected to the all-tournament team.
Against Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday, USF hit .331 to UWM’s .138 in the Bulls’ 30-15, 30-26, 30-27 victory.
In the first game USF hit .407, while UWM had a .000 percentage. Collier, again, led the Bulls in kills with 16.
With the disappointing loss to the Broncos, the Bulls came away with some satisfaction. Mueller learned what depth the Bulls have.
“We came out very crisp and very sharp,” Mueller said. “It’s just good to see us play at that level and everybody contribute in a match.”
Redshirt freshman Kels Andrew-Wasylik saw her first action at setter for USF and tallied four assists. Another player who has showed over the past few matches that she is ready to contribute is Corinne Walsh. Against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 17, Walsh recorded four kills to hit .286 and had 3 blocks. Walsh had 12 kills this weekend.
“I think (Walsh) played extremely well,” Mueller said. “It’s nice to see that we have even more depth in the middle. We’ve been training hard, and it’s nice to see that she took advantage of that right away.”
The Bulls used a 30-18, 30-20, 30-16 rout Friday of Syracuse, in which 10 points was the closest the Orangemen came, to get the reserves in the game. All 12 players saw action during the match.
“It’s nice to know we have a lot of depth on our team and can use that depth,” Mueller said.
The Bulls wrapped up tournament play for the year and have matches against Florida A&M and Florida International before starting conference play.
“Even though we lost to Western Michigan, I think we were able to accomplish all of our goals in the first two matches,” Mueller said.
“Everybody always says you learn more from a loss than a win. We’re going to take the loss and move on and reevaluate and re-focus our goals towards winning conference.”