Florida Gulf Coast University stepped into the USF Sun Dome Corral on Tuesday night hoping to catch the Bulls slipping before the start of Big East play and on the heels of a five game win streak.
But USF showed no lack of focus in an impressive 3-1 victory over the Eagles.
In the first set, Andrea Rodriguez-Gomez, Caitlyn Breen and Erin Fairs notched three kills each. Fairs also contributed heavily on defense with four digs. Claudia Cabrera had four impressive digs and dove multiple times to maintain her teams possession. USF won the set 25-14 with no rally by FGCU.
The Eagles performed better in the second set, led by Jill Hoppers five kills. At one point the Eagles led the Bulls 13-5 and looked to have the momentum, but the Bulls mounted an emotional rally. The Corral was at its loudest volume of the night as Cabrera added six more digs to help USF win the set 25-21.
In the third set the Eagles had their most consistent performance of the evening, to the tune of a .138 attack percentage compared to .000 percent by the Bulls, their lowest of the night. Attack efficiency was the key to the Eagles set win.
The Bulls bounced back strong in the fourth set. Wylie Devlin had 10 of her game-high 27 assists and Ciara Brown had five of her 10 kills in the fourth. Valerie El Houssine redeemed herself in the fourth set after only two kills and four errors in the first three sets. She scored five kills and no errors in the fourth to combine with Brown and Devlins equally clutch performances to win the set 25-16.
USF dominated FGCU in what could have been quite an upset with the Bulls beginning Big East play in New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday against Rutgers and Seton Hall, respectively. The Bulls will surely head to New Jersey with confidence knowing that theyve won six consecutive matches but also face a combined record of 35-2 between the two opponents.