Jose Fernandez Blog: Feb. 22
We’re hitting the last leg of our regular season, with two important road games as well as two big games at home. Finishing the season strong is important for us, as we get closer and closer to the NCAA Selection Show.
Early yesterday morning, we returned from Louisville after a big conference win on the road. The team rebounded extremely well against the No. 12/11 Cardinals, and we had a strong offensive performance from Andrea Smith to help build our postseason resume with the win.
We were able to enjoy the win on the ride back to Tampa, but were back in the gym yesterday, preparing for No. 20 Syracuse at the Sun Dome Saturday afternoon. Back-to-back top 25 opponents makes this a huge week for us, with opportunities for our team to move up in the RPI.
Our post play has steadily improved this year, with Alisia Jenkins emerging as both a strong rebounder and reliable scorer, and Akila McDonald making some big strides on both sides of the ball. Last Saturday, Akila had maybe one of her most complete games to date, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for us in the win over Seton Hall. Yesterday, she contributed ten rebounds. I’m excited to see her continue to grow as this season winds down.
While the basketball season is nearing an end, our spring sports have jumped into action. The softball team looks poised to make another Women’s College World Series run, and the baseball team showed a lot of potential as well in their 20-2 win over Purdue last weekend.
I had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at last Friday’s softball game, and was very impressed with the atmosphere Ken Eriksen and his staff have developed over at the still-new USF Softball stadium, as well as the product on the field.
Look forward to seeing you all out at our game Saturday against Syracuse (2 p.m. start). It’s the nationally-televised BIG EAST Game of the Week, and we’d love to see a packed house in such a crucial game for our team!