Volleyball: Bulls' win streak now at four
A festive homecoming Friday on USF's campus included an evening parade down the main thoroughfare and a two-hour block party in The Corral.
Asserting itself at the net, the Bulls (12-10, 6-2) rolled to a 3-1 triumph against Memphis for their fourth consecutive victory and sixth in seven matches. USF hosts Temple at noon Sunday for sole possession of second place in the American Athletic Conference.
The win streak has an excellent chance of staying intact if the Bulls lose no defensive momentum over the next 36 hours.
Facing the seventh-best digging team in the nation Friday before an announced audience of 409, the Bulls won the digs battle, 72-71, and had 18 team blocks to the Tigers' seven.
"It really drains the opponent when we get a big block and it really boosts our kids' energy and confidence," USF coach Courtney Draper said. "That's how you shut people out is really just defense, defense, defense. I was really proud of our defensive effort tonight."
Individually, sophomore outside hitter Erin Fairs continued to fortify her case for American player of the year with her 17th double-double of the season (18 kills, 18 digs). Middle blocker Andrea Rodriguez Gomez added 13 kills and 10 block assists.
Fairs has posted a double-double in every match of the current win streak.
"She's just so dominant," Draper said. "I don't know that there's another player in our league that hits the ball as hard as she does. She's very, very solid."