As the USF volleyball team continues its tear, one thing has become very clear: the road to the Conference USA title runs through Houston.
The last time USF lost was Sept. 19 at Houston, in five games. With matches this week against squads the Bulls swept earlier this season (Memphis, Alabama-Birmingham), a Nov. 14 rematch at home with Houston looms. The Cougars and Bulls are tied for the lead in C-USA's National Division.
And if that's not enough, the conference tournament this month is being hosted by, yep, Houston.
With wins over Southern Mississippi and Tulane, the Bulls (21-6 overall, 12-1 C-USA) have won 14 straight. Against Tulane, hitter Lori Gribben had 10 kills. Hitter Paula Araujo added nine kills, becoming the first USF player to record 1,000 kills in two seasons.
USF also has had winning streaks of 13 or longer five seasons in a row. The Bulls won 13 straight last season, 14 in 1995 and 17 in '94. The school record of 18 was set in '93.
TWO HONORED: Women's soccer player Kristine Edner, who had 10 goals and four assists, was named to the C-USA first team. Freshman Siri Nordby, who had seven goals and nine assists, was named to the third team.
RUNNERS TAKE HONORS: Several cross country runners were named all-conference after Sunday's league meet. On the men's side, juniors Jeremy Arndt and Kevin Harkema, sophomore Matt Whaley and freshmen Russ Gerbers and Kyle Fenton were named to the team. Gerbers was named top freshman.
For the women, sophomores Minna Rasimus and Laura Karpalisto, junior Maria Otto and senior Amelia Griffith were chosen. Bob Braman was named C-USA men's Coach of the Year.
ODDS AND ENDS: The men's soccer team, seeded first in the C-USA Tournament, host Memphis at 7 p.m. Saturday for a quarterfinal. Memphis downed DePaul 3-1. If USF wins, it will host the C-USA Final Four Nov. 15-16. Tele Wightman shot 74-74_148 to tie for sixth at the Deep South Intercollegiate golf tournament last weekend. Wightman helped the men place eighth of 18 schools. Silviu Nistor was second in the consolation finals at the LSU Showcase Tournament. Nistor lost 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to TCU's Martin Jirak.
_ ROD GIPSON