When the USF volleyball team takes the court against Memphis, it will have an extra incentive to boost its defense. The Bulls will participate in the “Dig for the Cure” fund-raiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation on Saturday.
The purpose of the campaign is to promote a cure for breast cancer. The program, started by Charlotte coach Lisa Marston, designates a day in October and one in early November to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“It’s motivation for the girls to dig a lot of balls,” Lessinger said.
“Hopefully (C-USA) can keep it going and hopefully we can do it when we join the Big East.”
Those who pledge can either give a flat rate or donate a certain amount per dig. All the schools in Conference USA are participating in this event, which is in its inaugural year.
“I’m really excited. To know that each dig that we make is worth funds towards research, it’s great to support an awesome foundation,” said junior Kelsi Andrew-Wasylik.
The Bulls are riding a four-match losing streak after dropping their match against FSU earlier this week. USF hopes to rebound with key C-USA games at the Corral this weekend versus Saint Louis and Memphis.
The next four games USF will determine its seed in the C-USA tournament. Four teams are tied for the 7th seed with a 4-5 record. USF (14-16 overall) sits 3-6 in conference, which is tied for 11th, and can climb up to the 7th seed with two victories this weekend.
“Saint Louis is going to be one of the best games of the year because of where they stand in the conference,” Lessinger said.
“We know we have our work cut out for us, it should be fun.”
The Billikens are one of the teams tied for 7th and a win would put the Bulls in the position to surpass Saint Louis.
Saint Louis is ahead of USF by only one game in conference standings and a win would help the Bulls move out of the 11th spot they occupy. The 11th or 12th seed will likely play conference leader Louisville, a team that swept the Bulls earlier this year. Saint Louis provides a significant challenge on defense.
The Billikens are in first place in C-USA in kills per game and have one of the nation’s best offensive players, Aida Antanaviciute.
Antanaviciute is second in the nation with 6.64 kills a game and has posted a double-double in five straight matches.
USF squares off against one of the stronger teams in conference when the Bulls face Memphis. The Tigers have already locked up a top seed in conference after posting a 7-2 record in conference play.
The Bulls will need a strong performance from junior Flavia Silveira. Silveira ranks third in C-USA with 4.36 kills per game.
Memphis has one of the elite setters in conference with senior Heather Watts, a three-time C-USA Setter of the Week award winner.