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No. 11 Dakota Hampton USF Volleyball (2000x1160)

Photo Credit: USF Athletics

The Bulls, 6-3, are back home as they begin a three game tournament starting on Friday night as they open the USF Classic with Stetson (game begins at 7 PM)

The Bulls will begin the tournament with Stetson on Friday night at 7 PM followed by two games on Saturday starting with Wright State at 1 PM and followed by LIU Brooklyn. All of the games will be in the Sun Dome as well.

USF dropped all three games last weekend, so Coach Draper and her team will be looking to bounce back in this tournament. In order to do so, they will need their big stars like Dakota Hampton and company to have big games. Hampton leads USF with 128 kills and 108 digs on the year and has led a team that has posted a .248 kill percentage on the season. Here are some quick primers on the incoming opponents.

Stetson enters this tournament at just 2-0. The Hatters dropped the last meeting against USF on September 3 in three straight sets, so this could be a good opening match for the Bulls. Senior Madison Akins leads the Hatters with 117 kills (3.17 kills per set), 61 digs, and 32 total blocks. She had 11 kills 13 digs in the first meeting. Freshman Eva Deisa has 71 kills (2.15 kills per set) 7 service aces (7 errors), and 57 digs. She is one of their top hitters at the net. Sophomore Roxy Lake leads their team with 242 assists (6.54 assists per set) and has 53 digs. Rounding out their top players is senior Marissa Salazar who has 12 services aces (leads the team) and has a team high 113 digs (3.53 digs per set).

Wright State enters this tournament with a record of 3-7 (they face LIU Brooklyn on Friday before facing USF). They are led by junior middle blocker/outside hitter Megan Hopkins who leads the team with 88 kills (2.59 kills per set), has 5 service aces (9 service errors), 13 digs and 32 total blocks through 34 sets. Junior outside hitter Katie Klusman has 122 kills (3.59 kills per set) through 34 sets, and has added 94 digs and 12 total blocks on the season. Junior setter Maddie Lohmeier has 331 assists (9.74 assists per game, also leads the team) and 73 digs. She is a key center figure in their offense. Rounding out their top performers is junior libero Jessie Thornton how has 20 assists, 10 service aces (8 errors) and leads the team with 160 digs (4.71 digs per set).

LIU Brooklyn enters the weekend with an overall record of just 2-8 (they face Wright State and Stetson before USF). The Blackbirds are led by senior Alex Larsen who leads the club with 88 kills (2.59 kills per set) and has also totaled 8 service aces (13 errors), 64 digs, and 18 total blocks on the year. Junior outside hitter Alex Lilliquist has 70 kills (2.80 kills per set) in just 25 sets (compared to 34 for Larsen). Lilliquist has also totaled 8 service aces (just 3 errors) and 41 digs as well. Freshman setter Amanda Hubbard leads the team with 184 assists (7.08 assists per set) and has also totaled 45 digs. Rounding out their top contributors is freshman libero Natalia Rivera who has 24 assists and leads the team with 116 digs (3.41 digs per set). The Blackbirds have two freshmen they rely on, something the Bulls should take advantage of in this game.

The Bulls had their historic winning streak snapped last weekend, but they have a great opportunity this weekend to start a new one.

by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt

SoFloBulls Blog by Matthew Manuri

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