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Notebook: Women’s basketball rakes in weekly awards

Beatriz Jordao was named the AAC Freshman of the Week after her performances against Ohio State and Albany. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/GOUSFBULLS

No. 21 USF is coming off a hot start after beating Ohio State and Albany last week. Following their convincing wins, the Bulls moved up one spot from their AP preseason rankings and were named the NCAA Team of the Week.

Freshman Beatriz Jordao was named the AAC Freshman of the Week after scoring 24 points, six blocks and 19 rebounds in the Bulls’ first two games of the season.

Senior Kitija Laksa also received her own honors.

She’s been named to the watch list for the 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy and was selected earlier this season to the 2018-19 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 watch list.

USF (2-0) is looking to keep its early momentum going against in-state foe Bethune-Cookman (2-0) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Any time you play an in-state school, you’re going to get their best punch,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “Vanessa [Blair-Lewis] has done a great job with their program.”

Even though the Wildcats aren’t the most prestigious school on the Bulls’ schedule, Fernandez said his team isn’t overlooking their opponent.

“[Bethune-Cookman] has everybody back from a team in the MEAC and we need to make sure we are ready to play and not looking forward,” he said.

Looking forward could mean USF’s matchup against Oklahoma on Sunday at 2 p.m. It could also mean the Bulls’ upcoming trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands to play in the Paradise Jam next week against Kentucky, UNC and UCLA.

Bulls in Paradise

After a 74-70 overtime win against Austin Peay on Monday, the USF men’s basketball team arrived in Jamaica on Wednesday for their own tropical tournament.

The team’s twitter account posted a picture of the entire team in front of a pool with bright blue ocean water even farther in the distance.

“We’ve arrived in paradise. So excited to be part of the @jamaica_classic! It’s time to get to work. We’ve got a title to win. #RunWithUs” the team said in the tweet.

USF will play against Ohio and Georgetown on Friday and Saturday, respectively, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Bulls will return to the Yuengling Center next Wednesday against Florida A&M.

Women’s volleyball seeks win No. 20 in Texas

USF volleyball will travel to Texas this weekend to finish out the regular season. The Bulls will play against Houston on Friday night and against SMU on Sunday afternoon.

The Bulls are seeking their first 20-win season since 2002. With a 19-9 record so far, the Bulls need to win just one of their two matches this weekend to reach the mark.

USF is ranked No. 95 in the NCAA RPI rankings. It is unlikely the Bulls will earn an invitation to the NCAA tournament even if they can piece together one of their best seasons since 2002.