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USF volleyball prepares for difficult test in No. 1 Penn State

USF coach Courtney Draper (left) believes her team is ready for the challenge of top-ranked Penn State after testing No. 4 Nebraska on Sunday. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

As the USF volleyball team prepares for its showdown with No. 1 Penn State on Saturday night at the Sun Dome, here are four things to watch:

How sweep it is

During its current seven-match losing streak, the Bulls (2-7) have won only two sets — Missouri on Sept. 5, Georgia Tech on Sept. 11. The Nittany Lions (8-0), meanwhile, haven’t lost since last October and have won 24 consecutive sets.

Block party

Averaging 3.63 blocks per set this season, Penn State holds a 83-30 advantage over its opponents in blocking margin. USF is even at 19-19.

Bulls have experience

USF coach Courtney Draper said her team won’t be intimidated by Penn State, because of its experience at No. 4 Nebraska on Sunday. Though the Cornhuskers swept the Bulls, USF managed to keep it close in the final two sets. 

“We got a little taste of what one of the top five teams in the country, so I think that helped us prepare quite a bit,” Draper said.

‘Just have fun’

Most of all, Draper just wants her players to enjoy the chance to play the defending national champions. 

“To be able to host them on our home floor is just something that is really exciting,” she said.