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Freshman nabs award before tournament

Freshman Kristina Fabris is going to need a bigger trophy case for all the accolades she has accumulated for her strong play this season for the USF volleyball team. Fabris was recognized for the fourth time this year when she picked up the Conference USA Freshman of the Year award. Fabris won Conference Player of the Week for her play against Saint Louis and Memphis just last weekend and was also named to the All-Freshman team for C-USA.

Fabris is third on the team in kills per game at 3.05 and is second in blocks per game with 0.67. She has led the team in kills five times this season and in blocks 11 times. Fabris is the second player in school history to win the award, after All-American and C-USA Player of the Decade Michelle Collier was the first in the 1998 campaign.

Fabris won’t have a chance to garnish a player of the decade award in C-USA, as this is USF’s final season in the conference. With a long career ahead of her at USF, Fabris will have a shot to take on some Big East records when the Bulls enter that conference next season.

“We are thrilled that Kristina has been recognized for her talents,” coach Claire Lessinger said. “She has had a great year and the future is extremely bright for her. Kristina’s dynamic and physical ability will continue to be a huge asset to this program for the next three years. USF is lucky to have such a young and talented player, as well as a driven competitor.”

Fabris had one of her best games of the season against Saint Louis, when she collected 14 kills and had only four errors to hit a team high .385. Fabris will have to duplicate her performance along with a solid group effort when the Bulls face Saint Louis in the first round of the C-USA tournament tonight.

The rematch will pit the Bulls defense against Aida Antanaviciute, who is first in C-USA with 6.37 kills a game. The Bulls were able to shut down Antanaviciute on Nov. 5., holding her to no kills and one dig.

The Bulls will enter the tournament with a chip on their shoulders after losing their final two conference games on the road. The losses dropped USF to the 10th seed in the tournament.

“My expectations for the conference tournament is to go to Louisville with something to prove,” sophomore Ashley Reavis said. “We are a better team than our record shows. We want to go in there and make some more upsets and most of all, play the game of volleyball that we all know how to play.”

The winner of the USF/Saint Louis match will face the No.2 seed Cincinnati. The Bearcats defeated the Bulls in three straight games Oct. 9.