The way the USF volleyball team has had to travel this season, they should apply for frequent flyer miles.
USF (2-3) has had to adjust following Hurricane Frances, and it has left the team without a home game so far this season. USF takes their road warrior mentality into Cedar Falls, Iowa this weekend in the Northern Iowa Invitational.
Leading the way for the Bulls is junior Flavia Silveira, who has been consistent on offense every game this season. Silveira currently ranks second in Conference USA, averaging 4.80 kills per game. She also leads the team in aces.
Although all the teams USF faces this weekend have losing records, none of the teams are pushovers.
USF squares off Friday versus Northern Illinois University (2-6). The injury bug has plagued NIU, losing two of their starters and only having seven players suit up in the final game of the Duke Invitational. NIU and USF share the road blues, with NIU not having a home game in 21 days. The Bulls will be challenged by Northern Illinois’ top offensive weapon Tera Lobdell. She has averaged 5.87 kills per game, which ranks her sixth in the nation. USF hopes to end its two game slide against the Huskies, who are trying to end a three game losing streak.
Saturday, the Bulls will face Bradley University (3-4). The Braves are riding high after winning three of their last four matches and looking to continue against conference foe and tournament host Northern Iowa.
USF will face Northern Iowa on Saturday night. The Panthers will definitely be looking for blood after losing their last three matches to teams ranked in the top 15. Northern Iowa (3-4) had recently fallen out of the top 25 after losses to No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Minnesota, and No. 15 Kansas State. UNI finished last season No. 18 after posting a 28-6 record. At this early point in the season, UNI has nearly matched their loss total from last season.
After this tournament, USF stays in-state for its next two road games, at Florida Atlantic and UCF. The Bulls open up Conference USA play at home Oct. 1 against Charlotte.
And they’re off
The USF men’s and women’s cross-country teams open their seasons at the UF Invitational in Gainesville on Saturday.
The women’s squad, who won the team title at the 2003 UF Invitational, is returning Christa Benton and Bente General. Benton, a junior, was an All-American in 2003.
Among those the men’s team is returning is senior Adam Chumbley. In 2002, Chumbley earned All-Conference honors.
Bulls ready for first serve
The USF men’s tennis team opens its season this weekend at the Florida Invitational at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville.
USF will play Miami, Mississippi State and Florida throughout the weekend.
“This is a top-notch tournament that involves some very tough schools,” coach Don Barr said. “Playing in fall tournaments gives me and my coaching staff a very good indication of how deep our team is.”
USF ended the 2003 season 11-9 and No. 54 in the country.
Compiled by Mark Lennox, Thomas Simonetti and John Calkins