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Bulls sweep tournament

Senior Kristina Fabris was named to the Best Western Invitational All-Tournament Team after leading the Bulls in kills (39) over the weekend. ORACLE PHOTO/ JOSE LOPEZ JR.

The USF volleyball team continued its hot streak by sweeping the Best Western Invitational Tournament.

USF fed off the energy of packed stands throughout the weekend en route to a 9-1 record – the best start in team history since an 11-1 start in 1996.

“It’s unexplainable to an outside source what that means to the team,” coach Claire Lessinger said. “It really boosts our players when we walk out there before the first serve and the crowd is cheering and clapping. We really appreciate the fans that came out and supported us.”

The Bulls’ final match of the weekend came against George Mason. USF lost one set to the Patriots, but went on to win 3-1 to clinch the tournament title.

Instead of their usual production on offense, the Bulls defense keyed the victory against George Mason. For the second time in as many games, the Bulls posted 15 blocks and held the Patriot offense to less than a .140 hitting percentage.

Marcela Gurgel tallied the only double-double for the Bulls with 16 kills and 13 digs. Alli Arbogast led the Bulls in blocks with nine.

Kristina Fabris, Gurgel and Arbogast were all named to the all-tournament team. Fabris led the team with 39 kills while Gurgel finished second with 36 kills and third with 26 digs. For Arbogast, this was her first all-tournament honor as she hit .310 throughout the tournament and posted 21 blocks.

After knocking off Central Florida in the tournament opener Thursday, the Bulls faced Texas A & M Corpus Christi.

The USF offense picked up against the Islanders, posting 44 kills. Fabris led the Bulls with the only double-double of the match with 15 kills and 13 digs. Her impressive .560 hitting percentage sparked the Bulls offense and she committed only one error on the night.

The Bulls defense posted 16 blocks and allowed Corpus Christi only a .117 hitting percentage.

“I am really excited about the way this team is going,” said Lessinger. “We have a lot going in our favor right now, and I think this team believes in themselves to get the job done.”