Volleyball team finishes third at Bowling Green tournament

Junior Flavia Silveira received all-tournament honors at the Western Kentucky tournament at Bowling Green over the weekend.

But the USF volleyball team did not fare as well overall, dropping 2 of 3 matches and finishing third out of four teams.

Silveira averaged 5.11 kills per game and 3.67 digs per game while pulling down seven aces. Silveira has led the team in kills every match.

“Flavia is just solid,” head coach Claire Lessinger said. “She obviously gives us offense, plus she’s leading us in digs. Her serve is a threat. She was just consistent and gave us basically everything we asked of her. She’s a very stable player.”

USF got off to a good start against Southeast Missouri State, easily dispatching the Otahkians 3-0 on Friday.

The trio of Silveira, freshman Kristina Fabris and freshman Michelle Stalbaum paced a USF team that racked up 56 kills against the Otahkians. All three players had double-doubles for the second time this season.

Silveira led with 21 kills and 16 digs. After starting out strong, the Otahkians stayed close in game two, but again USF was able to pull away.

“Game two obviously (we) came out flat, a little relaxed and overconfident, and the other team did a good job of picking up in the areas they were down in the first game,” Lessinger said. “A turnaround came when Michelle killed the ball down the line. That was a big play for us that got some emotion out of us. After that our consistency picked up.”

A Saturday double-header was not so good for USF. Against Illinois State, the Bulls had a hard time finding a rhythm, losing the match 3-0.

USF took an early lead in Game 1, only to see the Redbirds go on an eight-point run the Bulls never recovered from.

Silveira continued her consistent performances, tallying 12 kills. Sophomore Ashley Reavis led the Bulls defensively with nine digs. Junior setter Juliana Nogueira led with 33 assists.

In the final game of the tournament, USF faced off against Western Kentucky.

The Bulls had a tough time with the Toppers through the first two games, dropping them 30-15 and 30-21 respectively, but managed to regain their edge for the final game.

In the third game, USF matched WKU point for point until untimely serve aces from the Toppers put the Bulls away for good.

“We played some good teams with a lot of depth and experience,” Lessinger said. “We had a lot of errors and inconsistency. We think that this experience will help us a lot before conference play. It’s tough, but you can learn a lot from a loss.”

USF has the week off before it travels to Cedar Falls, Iowa, for the Northern Iowa Classic. The team opens against Northern Illinois on Friday at 6 p.m.