Sophomore shows attitude

Johari Williams isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Especially when she’s on the volleyball court.

“I think I bring some attitude to the floor,” the sophomore said. “When someone gets a good hit I’m going to let them know, and I’m going to let the other team know as well.”

Williams is in her second season on the USF volleyball team and is the only player on the roster to participate in every game last season. In the clutch, Williams is usually there to provide a big kill. The native Canadian is fourth overall on the team in kills with 187.

“Johari leads by example,” USF coach Claire Lessinger said. “She is a phenomenal athlete and is hard on herself. She strives to be perfect on the floor. She gives us great energy.”

Off the court, Williams spends her time watching movies. Her favorites include The Matrix and the Kill Bill series. And if she weren’t playing volleyball, Williams would spend her days playing basketball. As for the future, she is undecided in her major but is leaning towards marketing.

Two things she isn’t undecided about are the Bulls’ two games in Texas this weekend.

“We have to focus on defense and blocking,” she said. “We practiced a lot of live game experience this week.”

The Bulls are gearing up for two important conference matches as they prepare to travel to face Texas Christian and Houston this weekend. USF is still in the hunt for a decent seed in the Conference USA tournament, making these conference road games even more important.

“This conference is a battle right now,” Lessinger said. “We know that on any given night anything can happen. We know how hard we have to work to put our position to take these games.”

When USF heads to Ft. Worth on Friday, it will face a steep challenge in TCU, a team ranked 11th in the nation in serve aces. The Horned Frogs have a leg up on USF with a record of 5-3 in C-USA, and the Bulls would love to get a win against the Horned Frogs to close the gap.

“There is not one opponent that is going to come out and crush us. If we outwork our opponents then we are right there and will contend to win every game,” Lessinger said.

Saturday, the Bulls face a struggling Houston squad that recently snapped a four-game losing streak after dropping four straight conference matches. USF will have to be creative on offense against the Cougars, who have C-USA’s best defender in Jaci Gonzalez. Gonzalez is leading the conference in digs for the second year in a row with 5.32 digs per game.

“We continued to work on our defense and blocking this week in practice. Both teams have some good players who can keep the ball in play,” Lessinger said.