Nov. 23, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Powered by an efficient offense and relentless defense, the UCF volleyball team swept Central Michigan (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) at The Venue on Friday. The Knights (17-15) ensured their second-consecutive season over .500 under head coach Todd Dagenais' guidance with the victory.
UCF was out-killed by Central Michigan, 44-40, but was far more efficient on the night as it committed just 10 attack errors and hit .288 compared to 26 errors and a .168 attack clip for the Chippewas. The key for the Knights defensively came at the net as they tied a season-high in both solo blocks (six) and total blocks (14).
I thought the defense really set up the offense, Dagenais said. We had very little information and very little video on Central Michigan coming into the match. We didn't shut them down, but we did keep them under control. To hold a team like that to .168 is a really good job our block and by our defense. CMU is a very dangerous team; the MAC is a very competitive conference. They got four teams in the tournament last year and CMU got their automatic bid. To be able to sweep them continues to show that we're continuing to improve despite it being the end of the season."
I have a lot of fond memories of Central Michigan, Dagenais continued. The best five years of my youthful life were spent in Mount Pleasant. I have a lot of love for that school and still go back and visit. I feel more of a connection to CMU than I do Michigan State or USC. I can still recite the fight song. It was neat to have them down here. I have a lot of respect for the school and a lot of respect for their coaching staff. Eric (Olson) has done a phenomenal job rebuilding that program into a conference champion. I think our two schools are on very similar trajectories in terms of the direction they are going.
Redshirt junior Angelica Crump led the way offensively with 12 kills and was backed with nine from senior Evija Vilde. Redshirt sophomore Marie Reiterova picked up her fourth-consecutive double-double, and 16th on the season, with a 30-assist, 11-dig effort. Reiterova also had her best performance of the season at the net with four-combined blocks. Also powering the Knights at the net was sophomore DeLaina Sarden who smacked five kills and denied six-combined shots.
The Knights will conclude the 2012 season on Saturday night at The Venue against in-state foe FIU at 7 p.m.
"I believe we've lost to FIU four times in a row," Dagenais concluded. "Our seniors haven't beat FIU in their careers. The fact that it's their last match isn't on their minds, the fact that it's FIU, a team we haven't had a lot of success against. We're going in this for real. Last year we were up 2-0 on them and they came back and beat us in five and that sort of loss really sticks to you. We've got a lot of redemption we're playing for tomorrow."