USF hosts Scarlet Knights

The South Florida volleyball team gained momentum last  week, coming off consecutive straight-set victories over Georgetown and Florida A&M.  

The Bulls hope to keep their victory streak going when they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Friday at 7 p.m.

“We need to get back on track in the Big East,” coach Claire Lessinger said. “Winning matches definitely helps our team morale, and there’s a lot of that on the team right now.”

Senior middle blocker Nakia Williams and senior libero Stephanie Augustavo both said they believe their momentum from the wins will help the team this weekend.

“We’ve played better every game,” Williams said. “We know that we can beat good teams, such as Florida A&M, and we hope it will help us play well Friday and against the best teams in the Big East.”

Augustavo said Friday’s game will be important in the conference standings.

USF comes into the match at 14-8, 4-3 in the Big East. Meanwhile, Rutgers comes to town with a record of 1-15, 0-6 in the Big East. However, Lessinger said she doesn’t want the team to let its guard down.

“I think any team that is struggling, like Rutgers, is a team you have to watch out for,” Lessinger said. “You know that they’re going to be working extra hard to get a victory and we have to come out and dominate.”

After the match, the Bulls face two tough weekends on the road. Next weekend, they will travel to Cincinnati and Louisville. Then, the Bulls will travel to St. John’s and Connecticut.

“This match is a must win,” Williams said. “It’s important for us to keep winning so we can prepare to play teams ahead of us in the standings.”

Augustavo agreed and said that the momentum from a win over Rutgers would help the Bulls on their upcoming road trip.

“We need to protect our home court,” she said. “We know that we have big road games (ahead) of us, and we need to beat Rutgers on Friday.”