Volleyball splits first weekend of Big East play

By Banel Paulinis, Correspondent
On September 26, 2011

The USF volleyball team opened with a solid start to the conference season in a 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 29-27, 29-27, 15-12) comeback win on the road against Syracuse, but lost a 1-3 (17-25, 25-23, 19-25, 17-25) decision to Marquette.

The Bulls entered Friday's match against the Orange in the midst of a three-match losing streak - only winning one of their last nine sets. USF quickly fell into a 2-0 deficit, yet managed to piece together enough offense to sweep the final three sets and rally to victory.

"We just willed ourselves to win," coach Claire Lessinger said. "We were able to

find our rhythm to come back and win."

The win came with several broken or tied personal records.

Shelbie Dailey recorded a career high in assists with 65. Freshman Valerie

El Houssine posted her most kills (30) and digs (16) as a Bull. J'beria Davis tied her single-match top mark for kills with 22.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, Marquette provided a harsher test.

USF appeared no match for the Golden Eagles, who were anxious to get their first

2011 Big East conference win. Marquette played a dominant defensive game, holding the Bulls to under 20 points in three of four sets.

"We didn't play like we did against Syracuse," Lessinger said. "We were not focused and

played a sloppy game, but it's a building process and we will work on our problems during practice so we will be ready to go by this weekend."

Janice Rivera had 21 digs in the match, passing 1,000 for her career.

The Bulls fell to 5-9 on the season as they continue conference play this weekend at home against Rutgers on Saturday at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. game against Seton Hall on Sunday.

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