Oct. 18, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) -The UCF volleyball team is set to play its only home- and-home series of the year as it welcomes Conference USA foe Southern Miss to Orlando and then travels to Hattiesburg to complete the weekend slate. This will be the first true home and home for the Knights since November of 2010 when they swept UTEP.
The Knights (7-13, 4-4) will take on the Golden Eagles (6-14, 2-6) Friday night in The Venue at 7 p.m., and then fly to Hattiesburg for the second match on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Southern Miss features a pair of strong attackers as sophomore Jasmine Crowell and senior Hallie Ecker both average 3.11 kills per set. UCF's offensive attack has proven to be more diverse with eight different regulars averaging at least one kill per set. Defensively, senior Elizabeth Rinaudo paces the Golden Eagles with 314 digs and a strong 4.19 digs per set.
One area that the Knights could see an advantage is in the serve/receive game. Southern Miss is last in the conference in service aces and has allowed 86 aces on the year. UCF has been strong in the serve/receive department throughout the season.
Last weekend, the Black and Gold came up with a big road sweep of Memphis on Friday to get over .500 in league play. However, despite rallying from a 0-2 deficit to tie the match on Sunday at UAB, the Knights' comeback fell just short as they were defeated in five sets.
Senior libero Meredith Murphy had a career weekend as she earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the Knights' back row. The Austin, Texas, native, who already has the program's all-time record for digs in a career, shattered her previous mark of digs in a single match with 42. That performance earned her the recognition from the league office as she became the first Knight to win the top defender award in school history.