Same tune dooms Bulls again

The USF volleyball team’s inconsistency isn’t deserting the team as it heads toward the end of its season.

The Bulls fell under .500 in Conference USA play (10-17, 4-5 in C-USA) as they lost 3-1 to UAB on Saturday.

It’s been the same song of inconsistencies for the Bulls all year; it’s just been sung at different locations.

Against the Blazers, USF once again fell behind in the first game due to its lack of offense and wasn’t able to bounce back.

“We play hard to 25 points, and then we stop playing,” USF coach Nancy Mueller said. “We usually give our opponents a five-point lead before we start playing well. We need to take charge early on in the match.”

The Bulls only managed nine kills in the first game to UAB’s 18 and improved to 15, 13 and 17 the rest of the match.

While USF has five upperclassmen, only two have seen much action for the Bulls in the past.

Senior Bonnye Glover is one of those who Mueller said needs to intensify her efforts and lead the team through early let downs and late deficits.

“I think we need some leadership right now on this team,” Mueller said. “And our upperclassmen need to step up and play bigger.”

Glover was one of two Bulls in double-figure kills against the Blazers with 16. Junior Shameka Mitchell was the other, leading the team with 17.

“It’s not just one person who’s going to help us, it’s going to be an entire team,” Mueller said. “I think when our numbers are good for everybody, that’s when we will be successful. It’s got to be everybody being consistent the entire time.”

The Bulls’ inconsistency showed as they dropped the first game 30-24, then won the next 30-26, before falling far behind once again in the third 30-23 and fighting to a 31-29 loss in the last game.

The Bulls’ road to the C-USA tournament won’t get any easier as they face Marquette and DePaul on Friday and Saturday, respectively, before facing Louisville and Cincinnati in the final two matches of the season.

“We have a tough road ahead of us, and it’s not going to be easy,” Mueller said. “We have to be prepared, and prepared means psychologically and physically. Mentally we have a lot of work cut out for us.”