USF WEEKEND SCHEDULE: 7 p.m. Friday vs. Louisville; 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Cincinnati
WHERE: The Corral inside the Sun Dome
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Head coach Courtney Draper thinks her Bulls can compete with anybody right now and they'll need to bring their usual high level of play this weekend against two of the Big East's usual powers.
The USF volleyball team gets two matches at home, starting with a 7 p.m. test Friday against No. 17 Louisville and ending with a 1 p.m. meeting with Cincinnati at The Corral.
USF (9-6, 1-1) has won seven of its past eight matches and ranks in the top five statically in some of the major categories in Big East play - blocks (third), kills (fourth) and digs (fourth).
"We're proving to be top five in most categories. We're not scared of anybody; we're excited and ready to play the best competition," Draper said.
Friday's test won't be easy as Louisville comes in with a 12-2 record (1-1 in Big East) a season after going 24-9.
"(The Cardinals) only have two losses on the season right now, one to Penn State that was No. 2 at the time and then just recently to Notre Dame this past weekend. I can promise that head coach Anne Kordes will have them ready to go," Draper said.
The Bulls are coming off a 1-1 weekend to open the Big East season and they got off to a great start with a 3-1 win at Rutgers on Sept. 22. Right side hitter Ciara Brown, a freshman, posted 16 kills and a .452 hitting percentage, while junior Kayla Walton had 14 kills and a .371 hitting percentage. Walton followed that up with 15 kills and a .375 hitting percentage in last Sunday's loss at Seton Hall.
"Both of our right sides had a field day," Draper said. "They were on fire and Kayla continued that streak through Sunday's play as well. She was a big factor in our team's success this weekend for sure."
Fans should take advantage of two home matches this weekend because it will be the last time to see Bulls in action for a while. USF plays at Syracuse and Marquette next weekend and doesn't get another home match until Oct. 12 against Villanova in the first of four straight Big East meetings at The Corral.