USF volleyball falls to No. 24 UCF for the 20th time

South Florida lost its 20th consecutive match against UCF on Wednesday. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Women’s volleyball got its 20th consecutive loss to in-state rival Central Florida in a 3-0 shutout Wednesday at the Yuengling Center.

The Bulls (9-16, 3-10 AAC) were able to keep up for the first five points of the game. But as the Knights (22-1, 14-1 AAC) got their flow, South Florida fell hard in the first set, 25-13. This pattern continued through the whole game, with the Bulls’ worst set being the last, 25-8.

UCF dominated the match focusing on the outer lines and the open gaps between the players, costing the team the second set as well, 25-18. USF was able to place three aces on the visitors but four service errors came from both teams.

Central Florida finished the match with a .455 hitting percentage compared to South Florida’s .011.

Coach Jolene Shepardson said she is not disappointed in the defeat as she has seen improvement in the team since the start of the season.

“I think they played really well against us so that’s kind of a compliment on how sharp they were,” she said. “I think that we pressed them and they fought back defensively. We take this same attitude against other opponents, I think we can do well.”

Junior outside hitter Marta Cvitkovic led the team with a low of six kills, one ace and one block, averaging 7.5 points.

Setters senior Kelsey O’Loughlin and freshman Tatiana Johnson helped their team with nine assists each out of the 21 totaled.

“Our serve receive has gotten a lot better throughout the season,” Shepardson said. “Marta is moving a lot more freely, [defensive specialist CC Clausen] passed great tonight, our setters are growing and getting better. We’ve always been a tough serving team. Every other part of our game has improved.”

For its next match, South Florida will be playing for redemption against Cincinnati after getting a 3-0 on Oct. 23. Failure to win will give the Bearcats their 10th consecutive win over the Bulls.

South Florida will take on Cincinnati at The Corral on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.