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Just one goal in mind

If it were a football team, the USF women’s soccer squad would have trouble scoring in the red zone.

“We’ve been working on getting better services across and trying to create better scoring opportunities,” coach Logan Fleck said. “We are creating good attacks up until we get close, then we tend to get excited and pull the trigger too soon. What we’re looking for is more composure.”

The Bulls have managed to score four goals this season and have been shut out three times.

USF (1-3-2) hasn’t won since Sept. 2 at Jacksonville and has lost three of its last four games.

As a result, Fleck admits that his team has become somewhat irritated.

“There’s no doubt there’s got to be frustration,” Fleck said. “We lose to Louisville, and Louisville goes up and beats Cincinnati, and people ask me if that makes me feel good. No, it doesn’t. That’s like saying, ‘Well, you didn’t win the lottery, but neither did your neighbor.’ We want to win the lottery.”

Fleck’s version of the lottery is a Conference USA title, and with nine conference games still on the schedule, there is still a chance the Bulls could make a run.

“We haven’t lost our confidence,” Fleck said. “We just have to do it. As a coach you realize that sometimes someone just has to crack one in and everyone feels good again.”

USF next welcomes C-USA-rival University of Alabama-Birmingham (4-4-1) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Last year, the Blazers took the regular season C-USA title from the Bulls with a 2-0 victory at USF in the final match of the season. In 2002, USF beat UAB in Birmingham.

“This game is going to be all out; this is going to be Frazier-Ali,” Fleck said. “There will be nothing left of either team.”

As far as injuries, USF is still without junior midfielder Megan Morton, who was injured playing UCF on Sept. 8. Erica Lewis, a starting midfielder, is questionable against UAB.

Conference play a welcome change for volleyball team

The USF women’s volleyball team plays at home for the first time in 11 matches this weekend, as it begins conference play after a dismal 2-8 start to the season.

The Bulls hope they can regain the winning ways they’ve enjoyed in Conference USA.

The conference has always been good to USF. Since joining the league in 1995, the Bulls have won four conference titles including back-to-back titles in 1996 and 1997.

Overall, USF has a winning percentage of .795 in Conference USA. In fact, only two teams in the entire conference (Louisville and Houston) have coaching staffs that can boast winning records against the Bulls.

This is the last season and final opportunity for USF to make an impression in the conference, as it joins the Big East next season. Unfortunately for the Bulls, they are riding a seven-match losing streak.

Junior Kelsi Andrew-Wasylik is one of only a few players who were on the 2002 team that made it to the NCAA tournament.

“The great thing about our team is that we are so young,” Andrew-Wasylik said. “The past is the past. We know what we’ve done here in the conference. Now it’s time for us to step up and show what we can do.”

The Bulls’ first victory came against UT-Chattanooga, a game that was supposed to be played at The Corral but was forced to relocate after Hurricane Frances canceled all athletics on campus.

USF is enjoying a four-match winning streak against the Charlotte 49ers, which ride a four-match winning streak and have an overall record of 13-4.

East Carolina is struggling offensively, losing six of its last seven matches.

Leading the offensive attack for the Bulls is junior Flavia Silveira. Silveira leads USF with 4.42 kills and 3.13 digs this season. Tonight the Bulls will try to put together a consistent offensive and defensive performance. Directing the team is junior college transfer Juliana Nogueira, who is averaging 11.91 assists per game while also leading the Bulls in blocks with 19.

“When it comes to being on the court, we need to communicate better,” Nogueira said. “We need to start off on the right foot. We must fight for each point and keep it intense”

Tennis pair begins prestigious tournament

Junior Federico Barton and freshman Juan Carlos Gomez of the USF tennis team begin play today in the one of the biggest tennis events of the fall.

The International Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championship is a 10-day tournament played at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.

There, players have the opportunity to gain All-American status and improve their individual rankings heading into the more important spring season.

“It’s a very grueling tournament,” coach Don Barr said. “Other than the Nationals, it’s one of the toughest tournaments going.”

Barton finished the 2003-04 season with a 22-10 record playing at the 1 and 2 spots.

Gomez finished 11-5 playing at the 4, 5 and 6 spots. The two will participate in both singles and doubles competition.

With the large number of players, the field can run over 350 participants and can take playing seven singles matches just to reach the main draw.