Scary October for Women’s Volleyball

The USF women’s volleyball team is having a scary October — they’ve been swept in each of their five games this month alone. Going into October, the Dons were 3-15 and were almost like zombies going through the motions by only winning five total sets in their first five West Coast Conference games. Unfortunately, scoring an average of one set each game will not get you close to winning the West Coast Conference.


The Dons opened October with a game against Santa Clara, the first West Coast Conference game of the season. There were a few highlights for the Dons, including seven kills for Laura Leap, Nora Buvarp-Lavik and Carly Lowry. Leap also had a chilling team-high 0.316 attack percentage, while also recording three total blocks, two solo and one assist. The Dons did manage to outblock Santa Clara throughout the game nine blocks to two.


The Dons had a stretch of almost a week before they had to travel to Malibu to face off against Pepperdine. The Dons struggled again while extending their losing streak to 11 straight, seven in the conference. A few Dons rose from the grave in face of the loss, including freshmen Erica Ronda and Erin Anthony, and sophomore Kate Ashman. Ronda recorded a team-high nine kills, while Anthony added to her assists with a game-high 26. Ashman recorded her season-high of eight kills, which topped her previous high by six. The Dons hoped to use the games during Fall Break to break their streak.


Unfortunately, the Dons could not shake their losing ways in Los Angeles over the weekend. They kept it close in the first set losing 21-25, but struggled in the second and third. Lowry and Ashman showed promise yet again, both recording seven kills apiece, in addition to Ashman’s 0.545 attacking percentage. USF also tied a record all hoped wouldn’t be crept on this season. The Green and Gold recorded ten errors. Even though the Dons have not won a game, they have shown improvement since their 2-3 loss to Gonzaga on Sept. 30. The women have hit above 0.150 in each of the games since.


USF returned to War Memorial Gym on Oct. 19 in hopes of fixing their three straight road losses. Sadly, the Dons fell flat against the visiting Gaels of St. Mary’s. The Dons recorded 18 points in both the first and third sets, but only 13 in the second. Marjolijn Oskam added four blocks during her own attack percentage of 0.500. The Dons hoped to turn their bad luck around three days later, and their last home game before a two-game road trip against Pacific on Saturday.


The Green and Gold kept it close during the first two sets, scoring 22 and 18 points, respectively, but started to stumble in the third only scoring 14 points. Anthony lead the team with 18 assists and also recorded six digs. Ronda was the Dons’ other standout player against Pacific. Ronda recorded six kills, one ace and one assist.


The Dons desperately need to turn things around in their next few games. There are still eight more West Coast Conference games left in their season. Unfortunately, the Dons must travel to five of their remaining games. If history says anything, the road will not favor the Dons through the final stretch of the season, as they have not even come close to winning an away game.


The Dons will attempt to change their season yet again as they travel to face Gonzaga tonight. The last time the Green and Gold faced off against the Bulldogs, the Dons took Gonzaga to the fifth set. The Dons also held an attack percentage of 0.538 through the first two frames, until the Zags battled back in the third and fourth to finish the game off in the fifth.


Featured Photo: Despite the losing streak, the women’s volleyball team still enjoys themselves. Dons Athletics/ Flickr


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