Errors cost USF volleyball on Friday night, as the Bulls (13-4, 2-2) fell to defending AAC champion Wichita State in four sets in The Corral.
USF made 44 total errors during the match, including 26 attacking errors and four service errors. Coach Courtney Draper said her team needs to be better, no matter how good the opponent is.
“It doesn’t really matter who’s on the other side of the net — if you make 44 errors, you’re probably not going to win the match,” Draper said. “A lot of respect for Wichita State, but I think tonight, we beat ourselves.”
The Bulls dropped the first set 25-16, but came back to win the second set 25-21. The Shockers won the next two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-21.
In the deciding fourth set, the Bulls fell behind early, trailing by as many as eight points. After a USF timeout with the score 12-5 in favor of Wichita State, the Bulls went on a 12-8 run, cutting the Shockers’ lead to three points.
During the USF timeout that sparked the late run, Draper reminded her team that it’s never over until it’s over.
“When we were on the road this past weekend against Tulane, we were down 16-20 and came back to win that set,” Draper said. “So I did remind them of that in a late timeout. ‘It’s sports. Anything can happen. You have to keep fighting and play one ball at a time.’”
Outside hitter Jac’cara Walker led the Bulls with 13 kills and 15 digs. Libero CC Clausen (14), outside hitter Nikkia Benitez (12) and setter Briana Stowell (11) also finished with double-digit digs.
USF’s loss drops the Bulls to 2-2 in conference play, sandwiching them between UConn (2-2) and SMU (3-2) for seventh in the AAC standings.
Next up for USF is another challenge in Tulsa on Sunday at noon in The Corral. The Golden Hurricane finds itself fourth in the conference at 3-1 and 11-5 overall.
“We’re needing to do our homework,” Draper said. “We did some film on them earlier in the week — we practiced some things this week that we think can help us beat them. But we’re obviously going to have to play a lot better on Sunday.”