2014 Volleyball Season Review

Posted: December 5, 2014 in Volleyball

The 2014 volleyball season is over for the Bulls. USF finished the year at 14-18 (8-12) and a 6-7 home mark. While the team didn’t reach the postseason this year, it was still a very encouraging season for Coach Draper and her young team. Let’s see how things went this year and see what each player did during the season. 

After two straight seasons of 17-15, the Bulls added a ton of top ranked foes to their non-conference schedule in hopes of building a strong resume and pushing for the NCAA tournament. It was a tall task and the team came up just short on their postseason dreams. Yet while they didn’t get to the NCAA tournament, it was still a very big year for this team as they continue to develop the system under Coach Draper and do so with young players. The roster lost several players from last year’s squad (Ciara Brown, Kayla Bivins, Rachyl Thomsen, among others) and brought in several young freshmen that were thrown right into the mix early and often this year. It became a learning year for the Bulls as the talented group developed over each week. The team with 6 freshmen and just 2 seniors played well and learned this season, leading to a very encouraging future for the program.

Overall, USF hit .190 this season as a team overall. They totaled 1476 total kills, averaging 12.1 kills per set. They totaled 14.7 digs per set and had 459 total blocks as a unit, playing well at the net. The numbers are pretty solid for the team, considering 6 freshmen were playing throughout the year and time was split between players (sometimes due to injury) who had not seen extended sets last year. The Bulls overcame a lot this season and while the record may not show it, each player came up big and set the ground work for the future. Let’s see what each player did during the year.

Payton Brown 1859551

#10 Payton Brown – Freshman – DS/L – Houston, TX (Cypress Creek HS)

Brown played in just 7 sets this year, totaling 4 digs in very limited playing time.

Wylie Devlin 815055

#8 Wylie Devlin – Junior – DS/L – Winter Park, FL (Winter Park HS)

Devlin played in 73 sets this year. She totaled 1 kill, 47 assists, 6 service ace (12 service errors), and 219 digs (3 digs per set). She split time with Amy Van Sant at the libero position.

Jaime Dickinson 1290337

#20 Jaime Dickinson – Sophomore – RS/OH – Gurnee, IL (Warren Township HS)

Dickinson played in 37 sets in her 2nd year at USF. She totaled 2 assists, 5 service aces (8 service errors) and 7 digs in limited playing time.

Priscilla Ehieze 1859644

#23 Priscilla Ehieze – Freshman – RS/OH – Houston, TX (Cinco Ranch HS)

Ehieze played in 61 sets in her first year in Tampa. She totaled 92 kills (1.51 kills per set) and had a .128 hitting percentage. She also added 12 digs and 19 blocks while totaling 102 points on the year.

Erin Fairs 807992

#7 Erin Fairs – Junior – OH – Richmond, TX (Foster HS)

Fairs, a first team all AAC selection (player of the year last year), played in 121 sets this year. She added 475 kills (3.93 kills per set) and hit for .222 during the year. She added 18 assists, 34 service aces (56 service errors), and 461 digs (3.81 digs per set) while adding 57 blocks. Fairs went over 1000 kills and 1000 digs during the year, making her one of the best players around for this program.

Adyson Goodnight 1859647

#5 Adyson Goodnight – Freshman – OH – Papillion, NE (Papillion La Vista South HS)

Goodnight played in 55 sets in her first year in Tampa. She totaled 67 kills, 3 service aces, 11 digs and added 27 blocks in her first year.

Dakota Hampton 1238637

#11 Dakota Hampton – Sophomore – OH – Orlando, FL (Carl Sandberg HS)

Hampton played in 107 sets (missed some time due to injury) and became a big time striker with Erin Fairs. She added 211 kills (1.97 kills per set) and had a hitting percentage at .155. She added 7 assists, 25 service aces (19 service errors), 272 digs and 26 blocks in her first full year as a big time starter.

Alexus Heidelberg 1290437

#16 Alexus Heidelberg – Sophomore – RS/OH – Winter Garden, FL (West Orange HS)

Heidelberg played in 72 sets this year with 97 kills (1.35 kills per set), 6 assists, 6 service aces, 77 digs and added 28 blocks.

Joli Holland 1859937

#6 Joli Holland – Freshman – MB – Dublin, CA (Dublin HS)

Holland played in 92 sets this year. She added 116 kills (1.16 kills per set) and added 8 assists, 10 service aces, 35 digs, and 70 blocks in her first year in Tampa. She totaled 163.6 points in a very impressive freshman season.

Brittany Kelly 1859749

#13 Brittany Kelly – Freshman – MB – Winter Park, FL (Winter Park HS)

Kelly played in 47 sets this year, her first in Tampa. She added 56 kills, 3 assists, 8 service aces, 24 digs and 43 blocks in her first season.

Alex Mendoza 1859646

#19 Alex Mendoza – Freshman – S – Minneola, FL (Lake Minneola HS)

Mendoza played 102 sets this year. She totaled 13 kills, 26 service aces (33 service errors), 154 digs and added 577 assists (led the team). She worked her way into the starting lineup, splitting time with veteran Natalia Soares.

Olha "Olga" Morekhodova 1859645

#18 Olha “Olga” Morekhodova – Junior – S – Key West, FL (Key West HS) (Indian River State College)

Morekhodova played in 34 sets this year, totaling 121 assists and 51 digs in limited playing time as a reserve.

Jennica Mullins 1238737

#12 Jennica Mullins – Senior – MB – Seminole, FL (Northside Christian HS)

One of the two seniors on the roster, Mullins played in 120 sets. She totaled 165 kills (1.38 kills per set) and a hitting percentage of .242. She added 6 assists, 12 digs, and 199 blocks (led the team). She totaled 249 total points during the year.

Bree Scarbrough 1795955

#22 Bree Scarbrough – Senior – MB/RS – Sarasota, FL (Riverview HS) (American University)

The other senior on the roster, Scarbrough played one year for the Bulls after transferring in from American University. She played in 102 sets this year, totaling 173 kills (1.7 kills per set) with 43 digs, 80 blocks, totaling 218 points during her first and last year as a Bull.

Natalia Soares 811773

#17 Natalia Soares – Junior – S – Porto Alegre, Brazil (Colegio Farroupilha)

Soares played in 99 sets this year (dealt with some injuries this year). She totaled 7 kills, 536 assists, 21 service aces, and added 156 digs. She split time with Alex Mendoza down the stretch as the starter.

Amy Van Sant 1238837

#4 Amy Van Sant – Sophomore – DS/L – Atlanta, GA (Lakeside HS)

Van Sant played in 99 sets this year. She totaled 61 assists, 17 service aces, and added 256 digs on the year.

Thoughts on the 2015 season: 2014 didn’t go the way many, including myself, thought it would. The postseason didn’t come and a losing record, the first in 3 years under Draper, happened instead. There were a lot of factors including a brutal non-conference schedule and an overhauled roster that had tons of freshmen playing high number of sets and inexperienced players stepping into starting roles. It was a tough learning year, but it sets the program up for success in 2015. I think with a few additions to the roster and the lack of players leaving (only two seniors on this year roster) means the Bulls will have a very experienced team heading into 2015. The freshmen will have a year of experience under their belts and veteran leaders like Erin Fairs, Dakota Hampton, and Natalia Soares will return for their final seasons as the leaders of the team. I think the Bulls will be back over .500 next year and should be competing with the top teams in the AAC. If everything stays in place for this team, they will be back next year and the win total will go up.



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