Volleyball team sweeps four weekend matches

Coach Claire Lessinger and the USF volleyball team returned from a seven-game road trip looking for some victories, which it got when it hosted the USF Best Western Invitational.

The Bulls won two matches on both Friday and Saturday to complete a perfect weekend.

Lessinger said she was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I thought we came out pretty dominant, but I was most pleased that we made it over a hump by closing tonight like we did in the third set,” she said.

In the first game of the weekend, the Bulls defeated the Georgia Southern Eagles 25-14, 25-20, 25-15. The Bulls were led by junior outside hitter Marcela Gurgel, who had 21 kills. Later in the evening, the Bulls defeated the Harvard Crimson 25-15, 25-16, 27-25. Gurgel had 10 kills and tied a career high with seven aces in the match.

The Bulls returned to action against the Toledo Rockets on Saturday afternoon, and defeated them in four sets: 25-18, 18-25, 25-21, 25-20. Sophomore setter Mariana Thon set career highs with five aces and 16 digs.

“I think in all four games, we played really well and everyone did their role,” Thon said.

The Bulls closed out the tournament with a 25-22, 26-24, 25-17 victory over the James Madison Dukes.

Gurgel led the team with 15 kills and 10 digs.

“It’s really good to win four matches. We had some losses last weekend and we were able to bounce back,” she said.

Thon was named tournament MVP and was named to the all-tournament team with Gurgel.

“It was my first MVP. I was surprised, but I was happy with that,” Thon said.

Overall, the weekend was a success for the Bulls as they improved to 9-5 on the season and 7-0 at home.

“This weekend was what the doctor ordered,” Lessinger said. “It was time to get home, and just throw the scouting report out and play USF volleyball.”