After a disappointing loss to in-state foe Miami Monday, South Florida volleyball bounced back to defeat Houston and TCU this weekend.
The Bulls did two things they could not do against the Hurricanes – take the lead in the block and hitting percentage categories.
“I just think we played really disciplined in our defense and our blocking,” USF coach Nancy Mueller said. “They were much better than against Miami. We played pretty consistent volleyball, (and) when that happens, we are a hard team to beat.”
USF (21-5, a Conference USA leading 8-0) outhit TCU .248 to .103 behind sophomore Shameka Mitchell’s .318 percentage in a 30-27, 30-19, 30-28 victory Saturday.
“We played consistent, and it was just good volleyball for us,” Mueller said. “It was good solid volleyball. We tried to keep our errors to a minimum. Consistency and discipline were two keys to the match.”
Senior Michelle Collier recorded a double-double against the Horned Frogs (10-13, 2-5) with 20 kills and 14 digs.
“She’s been our most consistent player as far as hitting percentage,” Mueller said. “Our game plan was to have her dig in on Houston’s best hitter. She’s been very consistent for us, so she’s been able to help us in every aspect of the game.”
The Bulls also led TCU and Houston in digging, posting 53 digs against the Horned Frogs and 54 against the Cougars.
“Our goal for Friday and Saturday was to outdig opponents,” Mueller said. “And we outdug and outblocked both nights.”
Middle blocker Bonnye Glover had a match-high four block assists, while the team tallied eight total blocks to TCU’s four.
Glover, Collier and Mitchell each had double-digit kills for the Bulls.
“Bonnye is a very aggressive, hard-working player and that helps her maintain her starting role,” Mueller said. “She is getting it done for us and that’s all we ask.’
Against Houston (13-7, 3-2) the Bulls posted 7 1/2 blocks to the Cougars’ four in USF’s 30-19, 30-26, 30-20 victory.
“3-0, 3-0, that’s good stuff,” Mueller said.
Glover, Collier and Jolene Patton all had double-digit kills for USF, with Collier again recording a double-double with 10 kills and 18 digs in the conference victory.
“We want to win conference,” Mueller said. “And when it comes to conference matches, we have been able to come out and perform consistently.”
With the Bulls’ eight-game conference-winning streak, they are starting to find their rhythm and are hoping to start peaking.
“I think we need to start peaking right now,” Mueller said. “Just the beginnings, I don’t want to peak too soon. Consistency is the biggest thing that I harp on for these kids.”