By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
DEKALB- The USF women’s volleyball team got a great learning experience in its toughest match of the young season.
The Bulls fell in three sets (19-25, 17-25, 20-25) to Northern Illinois (No. 22 RPI) on Sunday afternoon.
“Northern Illinois was the best team we’ve faced so far this year,” head coach Claire Lessinger said. “We had some shining moments and some big lifts off the bench, but nothing was enough.”
“It will be good film for our kids to watch and learn from,” Lessinger added.
Valerie El Houssine led the Bulls (4-8) with 13 assists, while Shelbie Dailey racked up 19 assists. Freshman Delaney Bell posted a season high six kills at a .500 clip. Janice Rivera posted 15 digs in USF’s final match before Big East play gets going.
“We have grown and matured a lot during our preseason schedule,” Lessinger said. “We played a very aggressive schedule and we are ready for Big East competition.”
USF’s first conference test is 7 p.m. Friday at Syracuse. The Bulls travel to Marquette next Sunday and then get a four-match homestand starting Saturday, Oct. 1 against Rutgers.