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Road trip takes toll on volleyball team

After some long bus rides and flights around the country, the USF volleyball team has had its share of let downs so far this season. Coach Claire Lessinger said fatigue has affected the Bulls (2-7) play.

“I’d be lying if I said the girls weren’t tired,” Lessinger said. “It’s treacherous to travel as much as we have. It has affected our rhythm.”

USF is looking to rebound this weekend as it plays its last of ten straight away games at UCF on Friday.

“As a young team, we just need more experience. We haven’t been communicating as well as we can on the court,” Flavia Silveira said.

USF has had strong play from junior Silveira, who leads the team in virtually every statistical category.

Silveira picked up 19 kills, a career best, and added 15 digs in a loss to FAU on Wednesday.

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs so far. It doesn’t matter how well one person is playing, we have to win as a team,” said Silveira.

After picking up the first two wins of first year head coach Claire Lessinger’s career, the Bulls have dropped six straight. The current losing streak is the longest since the ’99 season.

USF has fielded a relatively young squad this year, and the lack of experience has left its mark.

“Our goal is to keep the intensity up,” said Lessinger. “Errors are going to happen but we need to learn to keep a high level so we don’t get deflated.”

USF hopes to use this game as a tune-up before conference play begins Oct. 1 against Charlotte.

Women’s soccer

The USF women’s soccer team (1-2-2) opens its Conference USA schedule Friday versus Louisville at the USF soccer stadium.

On Sunday the team welcomes a second C-USA foe, Cincinnati.

Louisville (5-2-0) is coming off a 1-0 victory versus Xavier.

The Cardinals, who have yet to lose on the road this season, have scored 20 goals.

USF, meanwhile, has scored four goals while allowing nine in two fewer games.

USF leads the all-time series with Louisville 6-1 and has out-scored the team 22-5 in those games.

When Cincinnati (2-5-0) arrives Sunday, it will have played three straight road games, the most recent a 4-0 loss at Florida.

Women’s tennis opens with a win.

The USF women’s tennis team opened the fall season on a good note. The Bulls took five of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches from Troy.

No. 97 Gabriela Duch got her first win of the year, as did freshman Liz Cruz.

Fabiana Taverna, Patricia Kolendo and Louisa Obando also won their singles matches.

USF takes on UCF in its second game of the USF Invitational today at 10 a.m., and Saturday the Bulls play FIU at 10 a.m.

One Bull for another

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former USF receiver DeAndrew Rubin to their practice squad Wednesday. However, to make room, the Bucs had to drop Huey Whittaker, also a former Bull.

Rubin, a seventh-round draft pick of the New York Jets in 2003, played in 42 games at USF and started in 18. He caught 91 passes for 1306 yards and 14 touchdowns as a Bull.

Staff report