Volleyball splits road trip

The USF volleyball team traveled Northeast this weekend, coming away with one victory.

The Bulls fell Friday to the Long Island Blackbirds in non-conference play. When the Bulls played Big East rival Rutgers on Sunday, however, they were able to change their fortune and walk out of Piscataway, N.J., with a victory.

On Friday, the Bulls could not seem to find a rhythm as they were swept 3-0 by the Blackbirds. Sophomore Marcela Gurgel led the offense with 13 kills. Head coach Claire Lessinger was quick to diagnose the problems that USF had during the game.

“We played very inconsistent on offense,” Lessinger said. “We had problems with serving and receiving, and we never really got in sync on offense. The team lacked enthusiasm, and you cannot win on the road if you do not have enthusiasm.”

On Sunday the Bulls managed to fix any problems they’d had in Long Island. USF swept the Scarlet Knights 3-0 to improve to 9-4 on the season. The win over Rutgers was also the first Big East win for the Bulls this season.

The Bulls were led by senior Kristina Fabris, who had the team’s only double-double with 17 kills and 12 digs. Fabris also moved into sixth place on the Bulls all-time kill list with 1,175. Marcela Gurgel hit a team-high .467 and had 16 kills of her own.

Lessinger was impressed by the rapid improvement in her team.

“I was pleased with the adjustments the team made from the game against Long Island to Rutgers,” Lessinger said. “I have to give the credit to the team, because they had a meeting and showed a lot of maturity. I could tell by the way that they were warming up that they were going to have a big night.”

Lessinger has nothing but praise for Fabris.

“Kristina is crucial to this team,” Lessinger said. “She deserves every record and accolade she receives, and she continues to be a marquee player for us. Right now she is dominant, confident and playing quite flawless.”