The USF Volleyball team heads to Cincinnati and Louisville this weekend to continue conference play, and a familiar face may be directing the offense.
Junior Kelsi Andrew-Wasylik is the equivalent of a quarterback for the volleyball team. She is the one who runs the offense and distributes the ball to the attacking players.
USF (3-9) is off to a rough start this year and is looking to rebound in conference play after starting 2-8.
The Bulls won their conference opener against Charlotte, but fell to East Carolina in overtime.
Against the Pirates, the lineup was shuffled and Andrew-Wasylik took advantage of her time on the court. She stepped in and notched 40 assists in her first game as a setter.
The Bulls are a young team and Andrew-Wasylik is one of three juniors on a squad with no seniors.
“Kelsi creates a lot of great offensive looks for our girls. She distributed the ball extremely well against East Carolina,” coach Claire Lessinger said.
“When you can put that kind of leadership on the floor, it changes the aspect of the game. Her confidence is something our younger players can look to,” Lessinger said.
Andrew-Wasylik transferred from University of Kansas. She was part of the 2002 team that made it to the NCAA Tournament.
“I gained a lot just being able to watch the players we had on that team. I learned a lot from the veterans on that squad,” Andrew-Wasylik said.
Although plagued with nagging injuries, Andrew-Wasylik has always found a way to come back and compete at a high level.
This season the volleyball team has faced adversity — at one point it lost seven straight.
This weekend the women take on two of the better teams in Conference USA in No. 22 Louisville and Cincinnati.
Louisville is riding a four-match winning streak and is undefeated in conference play.
Cincinnati has remedied a six-match losing streak and has won five straight.
Lessinger hopes the team can come out of the gate and try to set the tone early.
“We need to play with a sense of urgency. We can’t be tentative when we are one point away from victory like we were against (East Carolina). It could be the difference from winning and losing,” Lessinger said.