Volleyball Game Time

DePaul (5-21, 0-10) at USF (11-12,) 6-4); vs. Notre Dame (13-10; 7-3)When: Tonight, 7; Sun., 1 p.m.Where: The Corral

The story: The Bulls attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive as they host DePaul and Notre Dame in the season’s final Big East homestand. The Bulls are ranked seventh in the Big East, a half game ahead of Villanova and a full game ahead of Connecticut. Only the top eight teams make it to the Big East Tournament, which begins Nov. 16.

DePaul has been eliminated from postseason play but can still ruin USF’s chances if the Bulls cannot shut down the Blue Demons. In order to do so, the Bulls should focus on outside hitter Morgan Ingersoll. The three-year starter is averaging 4.06 kills per game – nearly one-third of the team’s total kills. The Blue Demons defeated USF 3-2 in last year’s match, but the Bulls still hold the series edge with a 9-5 all-time record and remain undefeated (5-0) at home.

The match against Notre Dame will be the most important game so far this season. If USF can beat DePaul and either Connecticut or Villanova lose, the Bulls would be put in a position where a win would clinch a postseason berth for the first time in the Big East. Notre Dame sits in sixth place, just one game ahead of USF, and will find itself in a similar situation with a postseason berth on the line.

The Irish will try to take advantage of a well-balanced offense led by freshman Christina Kaelin. The outside hitter leads the team with 3.66 kills per game. The Irish defeated USF 3-0 last year in the team’s only previous meeting.

A number of off-court events will also be held during Sunday’s match. Senior Day will be held prior to the match. Departing seniors Juliana Nogueira, Ashley Reavis and Johari Williams will be recognized for their time at USF.

The match has also been designated “Pack the House” night. Every fan who attends will receive a free ticket to the season finale against Florida A&M on Nov. 25 at The Corral.

Keep an eye on: Nogueira. The senior has played a vital role in helping set up the Bulls’ offense this year. She has accounted for 82.2 percent of the team’s total assists in Big East play this year, including a season-high 63 assists against Georgetown on Oct. 14. Nogueira is seventh all time in Bulls’ volleyball history, amassing 1770 assists in her five-year career at USF.