There’s good and bad to USF’s five-set losses, said coach Claire Lessinger.

“We sure would like to be somewhere different (in the Big East standings), 5-0 would be nice,” said USF coach Claire Lessinger.  “Our losses are painful losses.  Anytime you lose in 5 and you give a good run and you compete with a good team it sticks around a little bit longer.”

“But with every loss, you learn something.  This groups tenacity and resilience has really impressed me,” Lessinger said. 

USF’s two conference losses have both been in 5-set matches. 

But that’s in the past, and Syracuse University and Marquette University await as the USF volleyball team embarks on its 2nd Big East road trip of the season.  The Bulls’ first road trip was a successful one with victories over Rutgers and Seton Hall.  The Syracuse Orange (16-5, 5-1) will host USF (10-5, 3-2) on Friday night before the Bulls travel to Milwaukee for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Marquette (12-8, 2-4).

The Bulls are in for another tough weekend in the unpredictable Big East.  Syracuse currently has the best overall record in the conference and is only a half game behind conference leaders Notre Dame in Big East play.  Notre Dame is 5-0 in conference.  Syracuse is riding a 5 match winning streak and is undefeated at home so far this season.  Syracuse is led by senior middle blocker Sarah Morton and freshman setter Laura Homann.  Morton is 1st in the country with 80 total blocks and collects 3.11 kills per set. 

“Syracuse brings a team much like we saw against Pittsburgh because they’re really efficient offensively,” Lessinger said.  “They’ve got one of the best blockers in the conference and we’re going to have to put it all together to beat Syracuse.  We have to do a good job of containing their big offense and we did a good job with that against Pittsburgh.”

-Mike Manganello