South Florida volleyball had its third consecutive match of flat, disappointing play Monday against Miami.
The Bulls (19-5) came away with a three-game victory against Memphis and a four-game victory against the Billikens with a hitting percentage of .189, but could not come up with a victory in a 30-27, 30-25, 30-32, 30-28 loss to the Hurricanes.
“Statistically, we have had good numbers,” Mueller said. “But after the match it hasn’t felt like we had a good consistent match. We’ve been kind of waiting for other teams to make errors.”
Miami (18-2) had 64 assists, including setter Mallorey James with 60.
“She did a good job distributing the ball especially in transition,” Mueller said. “We weren’t as effective at killing the ball in our first try.”
The Bulls could not control the net defensively, totaling six team blocks to the Hurricanes’ 8 1/2.
“We do need some practice with our blocking,” Mueller said. “We were outblocked. We need discipline with our defense set up around our blocks.”
USF’s defensive struggles allowed the Hurricanes to average 17.1 kills per game while holding teams to a season average of 13 1/2.
UM had two players post a double-double, with Marcela Gamarra tallying 15 kills and 10 digs and Valeria Tipiana recording 17 kills and 10 digs with a .419 hitting percentage.
“They were just a very well-balanced team,” Mueller said. “We weren’t able to get in any particular rhythm. Tipiana was their go-to when they needed a sideout. She was able to swing away.”
The Bulls were also outhit by the Hurricanes, who had .301 to the Bulls’ .244. The last time the Bulls did not lead the match in hitting percentage was Sept. 21 in their 28-30, 30-25, 30-24, 21-30, 11-15 loss to Western Michigan.
“They just had crucial blocks at crucial times,” Mueller said. “We just had more hitting errors, and there were crucial errors when the ball was on the line.”
USF’s season hitting percentage is .261, while its opponents’ hitting percentage is .186. The Bulls were defeated in hitting percentage in each of their five losses.
USF’s fifth loss of the season, four of which came on the road,ended its season high nine-match winning streak.
Offensively for the Bulls, Michelle Collier led all players with 30 kills for her fourth 30-kill match of the season. She also had 16 digs.