USF falls in five sets to Rutgers

Despite coming off a win against Seton Hall on Friday, the USF volleyball team failed to keep the momentum going against Rutgers on Sunday.

The Bulls (10-12, 6-5) lost to the Scarlet Knights (10-14, 2-8) in five sets, 25-17, 17-25, 25-17, 20-25 and 18-16.

Coach Claire Lessinger said her team’s defense was the worst it’s been all year.

“It was really frustrating,” she said. “I thought our defense looked the worst that it has all year long from a blocking standpoint to a deep court defensive positioning as well.” “(Rutgers) just kept the ball on play, and you keep the ball on play with a team that struggles to play defense. They came up with a lot of points.”

Rutgers outhit USF .325 to .276. USF senior right side hitter Allie Boaz said the team lost its focus after the hot start in the first set.

“We started off great in the first set, but as we moved, we got a little complacent,” Boaz said. “From then, it was a struggle to get everybody in sink around the same page throughout the entire match.”

Boaz led the team in kills with 21 along with 39 attacks and three blocks. Senior setter Mariana Thon contributed with 42 assists.

The Bulls opened up the first with a 10-0 start before taking the first set 25-17. However, in the second set, Rutgers bounced back, hitting .424 percent in the set before winning it. USF won the third set, 25-17, before losing the fourth and fifth sets.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Bulls are in sixth place in the conference. They return to the road for the last time, opposing St. John’s on Friday and Connecticut on Sunday, before beginning play in the Big East tournament.