Bulls will open season Friday in Jacksonville, play second match Saturday in Tampa
MATCHUP: USF vs. UNF
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. in Jacksonville
Saturday, Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. in Tampa
TWITTER UPDATES: @USFVolleyball
TAMPA, JAN. 21, 2021 – The USF women’s volleyball team will open its 2020 season, moved from the fall, this weekend when the Bulls play a pair of matches against UNF.
The first match of first-year, USF head coach Jolene Shepardson’s tenure will take place Friday in Jacksonville with a 2 p.m. first serve. The second match of the series will be played in Tampa on Saturday with a 4 p.m. first serve in The Corral.
Both matches can be watched live on ESPN+. All of USF’s home matches on the 2020 campaign, moved from the fall to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
Due to virus mitigation measures and the size of the venue, USF will have limited fan attendance via pass list only at The Corral.
This will be the seventh meeting between the Bulls and Osprey. USF is 6-0 in the series and won the last meeting, 3-1, in Tampa in 2019.
The Bulls return two starters and a libero from last year’s team, but will welcome six newcomers to the roster with several expected to be major contributors.
Jacksonville returns six starters from a team that went 15-18 last season and posted a 7-9 mark in the Atlantic Sun.
The Osprey are led by head coach Kristen Wright. Junior outside hitter Solimar Cestro posted 424 kills last season while setter Julianna Askew posted 1,125 assists.
USF 2020 Team Overview
The Bulls return seven lettermen from a team that went 7-23 (1-15 in the AAC) in 2019. Six new additions to the roster, including five freshmen, will bolster the 2020-21 roster. Among the returners are 6-4 sophomore middle Ally Barnhart (Lenexa, Kan.), who led the team in blocks (91) and was fourth in kills (132), junior defensive specialist CC Clausen (The Woodlands, Texas), who led the team with 449 digs and 28 service aces, and 6-3 outside hitter Jac St. Cin (St. Petersburg), who ranked third with 254 kills and 58 blocks.
Sophomore middle blocker Makayla Washington (Tallahassee) and setter Maria Idjilov (Republic of Moldova) were unanimously voted team captains entering the season. Washington, who led Leon HS to a Class 8A state title tallying 431 kills and 113 blocks, missed last season due to injury and will be a big presence at the net, while Idjilov, a transfer from Panola College where she was named Conference Setter of the Year and recorded 2,263 assists in two seasons, looks to be the cog of the USF offense.
The American Athletic Conference and ESPN began a new 12-year television rights agreement starting in 2020-21. USF will stream numerous home athletic events to ESPN+ this spring. Subscriptions for the ESPN+ app are $5.99 monthly or $49.99 annually and can be packaged with Hulu and Disney+ streaming services. A step-by-step guide for subscribing to ESPN+ is located here.
About USF Women’s Volleyball
Head coach Jolene Shepardson begins her first season at the helm of her alma mater in 2020-21. Named head coach on Jan. 8, 2020, Shepardson led the Bulls’ program to its last conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance as a student-athlete in 2002. USF made its last postseason appearance in 2018, posting 20 wins and appearing in the NIVC. USF Volleyball has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances and won 12 conference titles since its inception in 1972 and is entering its 49th campaign in 2020-21. The Bulls play in The Corral (1,000), adjacent to the Yuengling Center on the USF campus.
– #GoBulls –