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Volleyball notches two more conference wins

The USF volleyball team continued its winning ways in the Big East with two dominating conference wins over Villanova and Rutgers.

Sunday against the Scarlet Knights, USF (11-10, 6-2) started the game strong, jumping out to a 13-5 lead, and won the first match 30-25. After Rutgers (5-14, 2-7) took the second game, the Bulls stormed back, winning the next two matches 30-20 and 30-24.

“A win in the Big East is a huge win no matter who it is,” coach Claire Lessinger said. “I’m really pleased with our defensive effort. They are doing a great job at the net blocking.”

The Bulls hosted the “Dig for the Cure” match against Rutgers. Donations were made for each dig USF recorded, and the money raised will go directly to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The Bulls recorded 84 digs during the four games.

“For it to be the ‘Dig for the Cure’ and we have 84 digs is pretty unbelievable,” Lessinger said. “It’s fun to have that motivating factor in our favor. (The cause) gave us a little push that we needed.”

The game was especially significant to outside hitter Juliana Nogueira because her father overcame cancer and attended his first game of the season.

“I was so proud to have my dad here since he went through those tough times,” Nogueira said. “I am so happy that we are going to be able to help other people going through the same thing.”

Libero Stephanie Augstavo led the Bulls with 29 digs during the contest, surpassing her career high of 28 recorded earlier in the year. The Bulls’ 84 digs was the third highest they have recorded all season.

“I was glad to be able to help raise that much money. Today was the perfect game to do it,” Augsutavo said. “Our team has so much confidence right now, and we are playing really well together.”

Friday against Villanova (11-12, 4-4), the Bulls swept all three games, notching their sixth 3-0 victory of the season.

Freshman Marcela Gurgel led the way, recording 15 kills and a block for USF.

The Wildcats never really threatened after leading 11-9 in the first match. USF scored the next six points and won 30-18. Villanova led during the second game, but the Bulls used a 7-1 run to propel them to the victory.