The Dons started this past week strong with a shutout victory over Saint Mary’s, but in the end had to settle for breaking even after being shutout themselves by Pacific. These two games bring the Dons’ overall record to 16-7 with a WCC record of 3-7.
The match against Pacific started out extremely close for USF. The Dons scored the first point, but after that the two teams matched each other score for score until Pacific finally managed to pull away. As the Tigers pulled closer to a set victory, the Dons managed to hold them in the early 20’s while they attempted to mount a comeback, but Pacific broke away as the Dons neared and secured the set 25-20.
The next set started out much the same way as both teams were neck in neck at the start. The only difference was that this time it was USF that had the slight advantage heading towards the end as they looked to close out the same way Pacific just had. Sadly, the Tigers managed to rally and secure the comeback that the Dons had missed out on in the previous match. This would be the closest set of the game at 25-22.
Once again the third set was extremely close, but it looked as if the Dons finally had the Tigers’ number. However, as USF’s score neared the mid-teens, Pacific began to step up and eventually pulled ahead of the Dons for the 25-21 victory.
Junior Katarina Pilepic led the Dons in kills with a total of 13, in addition to four digs. Senior Jurja Vlasic was the aces leader for the Dons with two, as well as, 17 assists, the second best on the team. Junior Kiara McKibben was the assists leader with 21. Sophomore Kim Gutierrez had the most digs for USF with 13 and senior Courtney Sabahi had the most blocks with three.
The Dons had fared much better two days earlier in their game against Saint Mary’s. This time USF was on the giving end of the shutout, defeating the Gaels in straight sets of 25-21, 25-18, and 25-21.
Next up for the Dons will be a match in Oregon against the Portland Pilots on Oct. 29 at 7PM, followed just two days later by an away game at Gonzaga beginning at 12PM.
Photo courtesy of Racquel Gonzales/Foghorn