The USF volleyball team’s overall record dropped to 10-16, while its in-state record dropped to 2-6 in a 3-0 loss at Florida State on Wednesday.
The Bulls fell 30-23, 30-25, 30-20, and in the process recorded their first losing season against Florida teams since their 6-8 mark in 1991.
“One of the things we talked about in the beginning of the year was how important it is to beat in-state teams,” USF coach Nancy Mueller said. “It’s a matter of pride.
“We really don’t have a lot of players on the team from last year who knows what it is like to play big in-state matches.”
The Bulls weren’t able to handle a Seminoles offense that posted a .337 hitting percentage while notching 49 kills.
“Florida State just played consistent, and we didn’t really put up a very good block and didn’t play very good defense,” Mueller said. “They didn’t have to do that much to kill a lot of balls. I think they are a very beatable team. We didn’t show up to play tonight.”
FSU came out against the Bulls seeking revenge for their defeat at the hands of USF in 2002 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulls defense allowed Kristen Rust to post 18 kills and the Seminoles to pass 46 assists in a game dominated by the Seminoles.
“I thought we had just an overall poor match,” Mueller said. “We had too many hitting errors, too many passing errors; it was just a game of errors for us. You’re not going to win too many matches like that, and we need to make some changes.”
The Bulls will likely make changes both to the personnel on the floor and the way they do things.
“I think a little bit of both, but I have not made those decisions yet,” Mueller said. “We’re looking to make some changes as soon as possible. We need to be ready to play on Friday, and we need to apply it and execute it in order to beat UAB.”
The Bulls’ block, ranked No. 3 in C-USA, struggled against the Seminoles, tallying only three total team blocks.
“We started out not having any blocks in game one,” Mueller said. “I don’t know if it was lack of focus or lack of discipline, some things we were not focused on doing.”
One match after posting a school record 48 block assists against Houston, USF could only manage four against FSU.
“We didn’t practice it that much in practice this week (because of the success against Houston),” Mueller said. “I just think it’s inconsistency.”
Junior Shameka Mitchell, USF’s most prolific attacker this season, struggled to make an impact. Mitchell leads the Bulls this season posting 4.67 kills per game, but only killed eight balls during the match.
“I don’t know if they keyed on her or not,” Mueller said. “We couldn’t get her the ball because we didn’t pass well.
“There were a lot of things that factored into it, it wasn’t just Shameka not getting as many kills as she needed to, we just couldn’t get her the ball.”
The Bulls will need to rectify the problems evident against FSU starting at UAB Friday in order to avoid missing out on the Conference USA Tournament.
“If we lose the rest of our matches, I’m sure we’re in danger of it,” Mueller said.