Season starts with weekend tournament

The Bulls will welcome four teams to The Corral this weekend, where they will host a season opening tournament.

With eight new players on a roster of 14, USF coach Courtney Draper said it will be a feeling-out process for the coaching staff as they discover which rotations and lineups work well for the team.

“During opening weekend it’s hard to know what to expect,” Draper said. “It’s a time when you’re finding your strengths and weaknesses.”

While all the games are important for the Bulls this weekend, the game that has the Bulls’ attention is the first one, against University of Miami.

The Hurricanes come into the game sitting just outside the Top 25 in the NCAA preseason polls after a 2012 season with an impressive 26-6 record.

While this would intimidate some teams, the 2013 Bulls said they are excited to take on such a highly ranked squad in the USF home opener.

“It means a lot for me to beat this team because it is from my home town,” senior Andrea Rodriguez Gomez said.

Sophomore Wylie Devlin said the Bulls have an added sense of excitement and anxiousness built up because the game is the first of the season.

“Miami’s our first game. Hopefully we have tons of people come out. I’m just really excited,” she said.

Only time will tell if the Bulls are up to the challenge, but their fearless attitude could give them the push they need to be victorious.

USF will also face Austin Peay, The Citadel and Ball State this weekend.

Draper said these opponents are not to be taken lightly.

Only Austin Peay had a winning record last year, but Draper said USF needs to be on its toes against each team because it is the opening weekend and anything can happen.

Last year, USF struggled in its opening weekend, winning one out of three games.

Game 1 for USF in The Corral begins at 2 p.m.