USF to host rival Knights


USF will host UCF on Friday in a rematch of a competitive contest from Sept. 27, when the Knights defeated the Bulls in Orlando in straight sets.

But this time, the Bulls (13-10, 7-2) are expecting to turn the tables on their conference rivals.

Senior Andrea Rodriguez Gomez said she believes the crowd difference will be a big factor in USF’s attempt to beat UCF (15-7, 6-3).

“Their place was super packed, and I think for new players, it was kind of a shock,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “I think that kind of had to do with why we didn’t play as well as we have been now.”

This time, instead of facing a large crowd of opposing fans, the Bulls have the comfort of playing at home in front of their supporters. Rodriguez Gomez said the team responds well to the energy of the fans, and their cheering will have a big impact in fueling a victory for the Bulls.

“I think my teammates feed off that,” Rodriguez Gomez said. “The crowd’s going to get into it a lot and it’s going to be more exciting knowing that the crowd is in it with us.”

The Bulls are going into their matchup against the Knights with more momentum than the previous meeting. The last time the two teams met, the Bulls had won only one of their past four games, but they are currently on a six-game winning streak.

Coach Courtney Draper said she believes the team’s momentum, combined with the atmosphere on its home court, can help the Bulls fare better than they did previously against the Knights.

“The crowd is going to have a huge impact,” she said.

Athletes from various USF sports will be out to support the team for the match at 7 p.m. Friday in the USF Corral, as part of an “Athletes for
Athletes” event.