After more than two months of waiting, USF will finally play the Jacksonville Dolphins tonight in the Corral.
The USF volleyball team (8-18, 5-8 C-USA) had its match versus the Dolphins postponed during the first week of the season after Hurricane Frances made its way through Florida, canceling the USF Classic.
This is the final home game for the Bulls and a chance for them to tune up before heading into the Conference USA tournament this weekend. Jacksonville is 12-12 on the season but has been on a hot streak after losing its first eight matches.
USF recently dropped its last two conference matches of the season, garnishing a 10th place finish in C-USA. A win against the Dolphins would provide a boost in morale for the Bulls.
“Morale is down after this weekend,” USF coach Claire Lessinger said. “We do everything we can to re-motivate and keep their spirits high. If we can focus on what we did right in our wins we’ll get back on track.”
After big wins against St. Louis and Memphis, USF got stuck in a hangover against two of the more struggling teams in conference. On Friday, Southern Miss picked up its first conference victory against the Bulls. On Saturday, the Bulls lost to the Green Wave and helped Tulane jump to the sixth seed in C-USA. USF is the 10th seed in the C-USA Tournament. The tournament takes the top 12 teams.
“I feel that overconfidence was a factor,” Lessinger said. “For some reason, when we get on a high after a big game they don’t realize how hard we have to work. It’s not just going to come easy for them. Everybody needs to step up. These last two losses were just team losses.”
USF struggled in all phases of the game against Southern Miss and Tulane, something Lessinger hopes to rectify before the tournament.
“I think it’s hard to put one finger on what we need to improve on after this weekend,” Lessinger said.
The Bulls had Monday off to recuperate and get their minds back on the goal at hand.
“Having a day off will help us be more motivated with all the travel this season,” Lessinger said.