After coming off a strong two-week homestand, in which the USF volleyball team went 3-1, the Bulls came up short on the road in a nonconference match against Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday night at Alico Arena.
The Eagles (10-8) simply overpowered the Bulls (8-11), cruising to a 3-0 (22-25, 23-25, 19-25) victory in front of 574 fans.
“We couldn’t get anything going from all key positions,” coach Claire Lessinger said. “We lost our focus.”
FGCU’s strengths, mainly from the front line, proved too much for the Bulls, who put up a strong performance in the first two sets, only to lose by a combined five points. USF struggled in the third set, being held to under 20 points for the first time this month.
USF freshman outside hitter Valerie El Houssine, who was featured on this week’s Big East Honor Roll, struggled in the match. She accounted for a season low three kills and committed seven hitting errors. Junior outside hitter J’beria Davis led the Bulls with seven kills and senior libero Janice Rivera contributed 10 digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Kayla Walton, who averaged a .344 hitting percentage in USF’s two wins last weekend, continued to be efficient from the right-side hitter position as she notched a .600 hitting percentage and six kills.
The Bulls now have the weekend off before resuming conference play on the road at DePaul on Oct. 21.
“We need to take advantage of our weekend (off) by resting our bodies and refreshing our minds,” Lessinger said. “We have a tough week ahead of us and need to rebound.”