USF (5-8, 1-0 ) vs. Syracuse (3-15, 0-2); vs. Marquette (5-8, 1-1)
When: Today, 5; Sat., 2 p.m.
Where: The Corral
The story: The Bulls head into the weekend with two conference matches on the schedule. A win against Seton Hall ended a three-match losing streak during which the Bulls lost eight of nine games.
The all-time series record between the Bulls and the Orange is 2-2, including a three-game sweep by Syracuse last season. Syracuse is in the middle of a 10-match losing streak.
Sophomore Brittany Kern had a .800 hitting percentage in last year’s match against the Bulls, and she led all Syracuse freshmen in kills and blocks with 55 and 37, respectively.
Marquette, which USF faces Saturday, also defeated the Bulls 3-0 last season. The Golden Eagles have won three of their last four matches but are winless on the road. The Bulls will have to stop junior Kimberly Todd. The 2005 All-Big East first team player leads the team with 4.73 kills per game.
USF junior Kristina Fabris and senior Johari Williams are both closing in on 1,000 career points. Williams is slightly closer with 959.5 points to Fabris’ 936.5. Also, senior Juliana Nogueira, who has 1,320 career assists, needs 92 more to move into ninth place in USF’s all-time list. She is averaging 43 per match.
Keep an eye on: redshirt freshman Marcela Gurgel. Gurgel leads the team in kills, averaging 4.96 per game, which ranks her 15th in the nation. This is the first time in five seasons a USF player has been nationally recognized in any statistical category. She is coming off a career-high game against Seton Hall, in which she led the team in hitting percentage (.409) and kills (21). She’s also led the Bulls in kills 12 of the first 13 matches.