Title run will start unusually early for Bulls

After finishing with its lowest win total since 1978 (9-22), the USF volleyball team used a 12-19 overall record and 6-7 in Conference USA this season to earn the No. 9 seed in the C-USA Tournament on Friday.

Since the C-USA’s first season of competition in 1995, USF volleyball has been seeded out of the top only once (1999). The Bulls will face off against No. 8 Houston at Tulane at 8 p.m. during the first round.

Coming just a year after being named the regular season co-champion and C-USA Tournament Champion, the Bulls were picked to finish No. 3 in the C-USA preseason rankings.

The Bulls lost four starters from the 2002 team and returned only three players saw much action on the court, while prominently playing four newcomers and three freshmen.

The Bulls, however, finished the season strong, defeating No. 1 in C-USA and at the time No. 20 nationally ranked Cincinnati 3-1, in the Bearcats’ only C-USA loss of the season.

USF will look to carry that momentum into its match against the Cougars and attempt to regain its crown.

In USF’s only match against Houston this season, the Bulls let an early lead slip and lost the first game 30-32 before winning the next two games and losing the match in five sets.

The Bulls came out strong against the Cougars on Oct. 25 and set a school record by tallying 48 block assists.

USF also set season records with 181 offensive attempts, 181 assists and 26 total team blocks.

If the Bulls manage to make it past the Cougars, they will face the No. 1 seeded Bearcats on Saturday at 8 p.m.