This past week saw USF look fantastic in one match but overpowered in another. On Thursday, the Dons swept San Diego 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-21), but were then caught on the losing end of a 3-0 sweep against No. 11 BYU (20-25, 24-26, 14-25). Senior outside hitter Anja Segota led USF with 25 kills and 16 digs in the two games combined, and the Dons got great performances from senior middle blocker Valentina Zaloznik and sophomore outside hitter Katarina Pilepic on Thursday as well. With the 1-1 homestand, USF is now 12-12 this season and 5-7 in the West Coast Conference.
On Saturday, USF could not continue the momentum it gained from its win over San Diego. Facing WCC-leading BYU, the Dons looked overmatched, and were unable to take a single set from the Cougars. BYU was led by junior outside hitter Alexa Gray, who had 10 kills, and senior outside/opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson, who had nine kills. USF got a strong game from Segota, who had 12 kills and seven digs, and freshman outside/opposite hitter Jessica Gaffney earned nine kills and eight digs on the day as well. The loss dropped the Dons to 0-6 when playing a ranked team this season.
Two days earlier, the Dons dominated San Diego in what was arguably their best match of the year thus far. USF avenged an earlier loss to the Toreros by sweeping them handily, with major contributions coming from Pilepic, Zaloznik, and Segota. Pilepic had 13 kills, and Zaloznik had 10 kills for her fifth straight match with double-digit kills, but Segota may have been the most important player in the match. She paved the way to victory for the Dons with 13 kills, nine digs, and three aces.
“Before the game, we told each other, we were going to lay it all out on the court,” Segota said. “The setters spread the ball really nicely, we all had a chance to score, and it was a really good day.”
Next, USF will go back on the road for a two-game trip. The Dons will battle Portland on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7:00 p.m., and then travel to Washington on Saturday, Nov. 8 to face Gonzaga at 12:00 p.m.