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Bulls Stay Undefeated with Wins over WCU and New Mexico

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Bulls Stay Undefeated with Wins over WCU and New Mexico

Dakota Hampton totaled a team-high 33 kills in just seven sets on Friday

TAMPA, Sept. 2, 2016 – The University of South Florida volleyball team (5-0) remained undefeated by beating both Western Carolina (2-2) and New Mexico (4-2) in the opening day of the USF Invitational on Friday.

The Bulls began the day with a sweep of WCU (25-18, 25-7, 27-25). After cruising to a victory in the second set, the Bulls battled through six ties and two lead changes to knock off the Catamounts in set three. 

Senior outside hitter Dakota Hampton (Orland Park, Ill.) tallied a team-high 14 kills in the victory. Senior right side hitter Elyse Panick (Chicago) also registered 20 kills as the Bulls started the tournament with a win.

The Bulls then battled UNM, claiming a primetime four-set victory against the Lobos (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17). Senior outside hitter Denise Belcher (Apopka, Fla.) sparked USF early with six digs and four kills in the first set. Belcher ended the match with 16 kills and 13 digs.

After UNM evened up the match, Hampton responded for USF. The senior totaled eight of her team-high 19 kills in the third set to push the Bulls back ahead of UNM two sets to one.

Leading just 13-11 in the fourth set, USF gained control of the match by taking 12 of the final 18 points to complete the two-win day.


·        Coach Draper on “I am so proud of these girls. They fought really hard. We were in some tight situations, and they just stayed patient and really took control of the game.”

·        Dakota Hampton on this team: “We have really been on the upswing and I am really excited for what is next to come.”

·        Coach Draper on Denise Belcher: ‘Denise really took advantage of her opportunity today…she is just killing it! Her arm swing is so fast right now, and she is really just hustling on defense.”

Key Stat:

·        USF hit .218 in the WCU match, compared to just -.018 for the Catamounts.


·        The Bulls won five straight matches for the first time since 2009.

·        Junior setter Alex Mendoza (Minneola, Fla.) notched 33 assists in the three set win over WCU and another 55 assists in the fourth set victory against UNM.

·        Panick, the reigning Defense Player of the Week in The American, contributed another 35 digs and 20 kills in seven matches.

Up Next:

The USF Invitational continues with four more matches in the Sun Dome starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The Bulls’ lone match of the day will be against Stetson at 1:30 p.m. Fans can purchase season, tournament, or single match tickets HERE.

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