After another disappointing loss in which the USF volleyball team squandered a 29-27 lead in game 1, frustration is starting to set in for the 8-13 Bulls. The Bulls fell 3-0 to Miami on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes refused to concede game 1, playing the Bulls to 31-31 before attack errors by seniors Fran Pozzi and sophomore Johari Williams gave Miami a 33-31 victory.
“(The loss) has something to do with how we let up after game 1,” USF coach Nancy Mueller said. “And we struggle if we lose a tight game in game 1, and the other two games proved it. We have to be able to step up after game 1 even if we lose.”
USF lost its previous match to Tulane after starting with a 2-0 lead, and Mueller said things are starting to become frustrating.
“We have to figure out a way to fix it, and that comes with practice,” Mueller said. “We’re going to get in the gym, and try to fix it.”
The Bulls who started the season with lack of consistency and passing problems are now burdened with a lack of confidence in all their hitters and a lack of leadership.
Junior Shameka Mitchell leads the Bulls with 821 total attacks, with the next highest total being senior Fran Pozzi’s 675.
“I think we need to get more hitters involved in our offense because our hitters that are getting a high number of sets are hitting against the double block every time,” Mueller said. “And they’re not being as efficient as we need them.”
Setter Melayne Wootan put the ball in Mitchell’s hands 46 times against the Hurricanes, more than doubling the combined total of freshmen outside hitters Nicolette Barron (11) and Johari Williams (11).
“Melayne has got to get them the ball and trust them a little more,” Mueller said. “Hitters need to be able to kill the ball one-on-one by getting them the ball.
“One-on-one, they just got to be able to put the ball away.”
The lack of sets for the freshman is a combination of inexperience and confidence both on the part of the hitters and the setter.
“I think the reason why I pretty much go to Shameka and Fran most of the time is they’re more experienced,” Wootan said.
The Bulls will look to make some changes and try to end their three-match losing streak against Saint Louis on Friday.
“I’m interested to see what the coaches come out with,” senior Bonnye Glover said. “We do have a larger roster than what we originally started with. There might be some changes on the floor. I wouldn’t be surprised; I would keep my eyes open for that.”