May 15, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF volleyball head coach Todd Dagenais recently announced that he has added two more talented student-athletes to the 2012 squad. Incoming freshmen Dani Jenkins from Valrico and Kaci Thompson from Round Rock, Texas, will arrive on campus this summer.
Jenkins, a senior at Bloomingdale High School just outside of Tampa, plays her club ball for the Tampa United 18-1's and is currently coached by former UCF standout Stephanie Serna. The defensive specialist brings a lot of versatility to campus as she can play all three back court positions.
"Dani is already capable to playing a back court role for us next fall, especially with her defensive tenacity," Dagenais said. "She is a very intense and high energy player. Our current team members will really enjoy playing with her. She is an excellent team chemistry player as well. We are really looking forward to watching how she progresses over the summer and into preseason."
Thompson will arrive on campus as the fourth Texas native on the squad. She and incoming freshman server Dana Faught currently attend Stony Point High School and play for the Austin Juniors Volleyball club, the same as Meredith Murphy and former Knight Brittanie Wallace. She will challenge Murphy at the libero position this fall and could see extensive time as a defensive specialist.
"I love the fact that Kaci is the starting libero on a team loaded with elite high level DI signees," Dagenais said. "Right now the Austin Juniors have the goal of winning the USA Volleyball 18 Open National Championship this summer in Columbus, and they have a legitimate chance at doing so. That kind of training and competition will go a long way in preparing her to immediately help our program be successful this fall."
The duo becomes part of a squad that returns six-of-seven starters from 2011 and put up 20 wins for the first time since 2003. The Knights also won the most Conference USA matches (12) in program history a year ago.