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November 21, 2012
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Nov. 22, 2012

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By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior middle blocker Tory McCutcheon has proven to have a mix of elite ability in the classroom combined with serious athletic skills. McCutcheon is a four-year starter on the volleyball court and has maintained a near-perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout her academic career.

As a high school senior in Milton, Ontario, McCutcheon was voted team MVP in volleyball, basketball and softball. On top of being the best player on each of those teams and dealing with the pressure of playing sports year-round, she also graduated with the highest GPA in her class.

Despite her high school accolades, she was more limited than she expected in terms of her choice of colleges. With volleyball being her first love, she decided that she wanted to play at the NCAA Division I level above anything else.

"I was fortunate enough to have had offers from several Canadian and some U.S. schools, but knowing that I wanted to play NCAA Division I volleyball, which is much more demanding than that played at the Canadian university level, cut my options down significantly," McCutcheon explained. "It was a difficult decision to choose UCF because it was so far away from home, but one I have not regretted making for one minute."

Gracious for the opportunity to play volleyball provided to her by UCF, McCutcheon continued to challenge herself in the classroom by selecting one of the more demanding majors offered at the school: molecular and microbiology.

"Time management is probably the most challenging aspect of my life as a college athlete. M&M courses require lectures and labs that fill up most of the week," McCutcheon said. "Training and team practices seem to fill up whatever is left. Constant juggling is involved, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can sleep in the offseason."

Without much sleep, McCutcheon has still managed to become the most decorated student-athlete in the history of UCF volleyball. Along the way, she has earned several honors for her academic performance including being named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team twice, the Conference USA All-Academic Team three times, and four appearances on the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal list and Honor Roll.

Despite being roughly 1,270 miles from home, McCutcheon stressed that she would never take anything for granted and would continue to shine until the end.

"I would like to think that I have grown both in and out of the classroom over the last three years. Moving away from home, to a different country no less, meeting new friends and figuring out what is important to me - it has been quite the maturation process" McCutcheon described. "I've gotten a great education, played Division I volleyball and created wonderful memories. I would say I'm very thankful for my opportunity and I intend to make the most of it until the very end."

McCutcheon and the rest of the Knights will wrap up the 2012 season this weekend with a pair of matches. The action begins Friday night at 7 p.m. against head coach Todd Dagenais' alma matter, Central Michigan and concludes with a Saturday night showdown with in-state rival FIU also at 7 p.m.

"We're treating this weekend like it's the NCAA tournament," Dagenais said. "I told the team in the locker room after Tulsa that we were hosting the first and second round and I really want the younger players to feel the sequences and the timing of what the NCAA's are like. That's exactly what we're going to do and we're going to see if we can go 1-0 twice this weekend."

This story appears in the September issue of Knights Insider magazine. The publication, which is published six times per year, provides an inside look at UCF student-athletes, coaches and alums. To order the magazine, .

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