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Bulls set for road trip

Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011

Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2011 01:09

With the Bulls on a roll, winning their last four games, another test will come this weekend as they travel to Wisconsin for the Wisconsin InnTowner Challenge.

After an 0-5 start to the season, the Bulls' volleyball team charged back with a vengeance — changing their season around by sweeping the UCF Invitational Challenge and bringing their record to 4-5.

"We worked so hard in practice this week," coach Claire Lessinger said. "We found our rhythm and all we have to do is play the same way this weekend and we'll be fine."

USF will face experienced teams in Wisconsin (6-3) and Western Michigan (9-1) this weekend, which will provide a challenge for the Bulls, who only return three starters — Kimika Rozier, J'beria Davis and Andrea Rodriguez Gomez.

"We are a fairly young team, but I don't think inexperience should be a major problem," Lessinger said. "The newcomers have played great so far. Kimika, J'beria and Andrea have taken the leadership role in the team and I'm so proud of what they have accomplished."

Freshmen Valerie El Houssine's emergence is a key reason why the Bulls have been on a winning streak. She was named the conference's freshman of the week Monday after she helped USF win three straight matches and capture the UCF Invitational crown this past weekend.

"Val is extremely humble, which makes it very easy for everyone to respect her," Lessinger said. "She quietly does her job and continues to do it better and better every day."

The Bulls will line up against Wisconsin on Friday at 7 p.m. and Western Michigan on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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