ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – After receiving the first ranking in program history, the UCF volleyball team returns The Venue this weekend for two matches in the American Athletic Conference. The No. 25 Knights will face Houston on Friday at 7 p.m. and SMU on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Both matches will be streamed on UCFKnights.TV.
Here are five things to know heading into the Houston and SMU weekend:
LAST TIME OUT
The Knights remained perfect in The American with two wins on the road. UCF opened with a sweep of ECU. Outsides McKenna Melville and Kristina Fisher rolled with double-doubles of 14 kills, 13 digs and 10 kills, 12 digs, respectively. Anchored by Jordan Pingel, the back line held the Pirates to a .153 clip at the net.
On Sunday, the Knights clashed with conference co-leader Cincinnati for the league lead. In a record-breaking performance, the Black and Gold outlasted the Bearcats over five sets to win 3-2. UCF set the program single-match record for block assists with 41. Anne-Marie Watson and Kathryn Wesolich broke the school record for block assists with 12 apiece. The Knights were 1.5 blocks away from matching the school record of 23 rejections in a match.
After receiving votes last week, the Knights propelled themselves into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaches Poll for the first time in program history at No. 25. UCF is the lone representative in this week’s poll from The American. The Knights also climbed up to No. 9 in the NCAA Volleyball RPI rankings.
VolleyBowl makes its return on Friday night. For the 11th straight year, the Knights will hold the annual celebration of volleyball against Houston. UCF is 6-4 in VolleyBowls dating back to 2008, following a thrilling five-set match against Wichita State last year. The largest crowd in program history came in VolleyBowl VI on Sept. 27, 2013 against USF.
Friday is also the annual Pink Match for the Black and Gold. Fans are encouraged to wear pink breast cancer awareness. Libero Jordan Pingel will don the pink libero jersey for the final time in her career. Orange County Fire & Rescue will have two specially-wrapped trucks parked outside The Venue.
After the fun of Friday, Sunday will have even more excitement with Volloween and Dads-Daughters Day against SMU. Running from 12:15 to 1:15 on the upper concourse, the Knights will have trick or treat candy and Halloween activities for young fans.
Sunday will also be Dads-Daughters Day. UCF will giveaway 200 t-shirts to Dads and Daughters in attendance. Sunday will also feature a social media contest for a pair of tickets for the UCF Football game against Temple next Thursday. Dads and daughters in attendance are encouraged to post a picture on Twitter of themselves at the match and tag @UCF_Volleyball for a chance to win.
>> After starting the year 13-1, Houston has dropped to 14-10 overall with a 1-8 record in The American. The Cougars’ lone win came against reigning conference champion Wichita State over five sets last weekend. Houston has one of the top defenses in the league with a .180 opponent hitting percentage.
>> SMU enters the weekend at 8-11 overall and 5-4 in the league, including a five-set win over the Shockers last weekend. Sophomore Lexi Nordmann leads the conference with a .333 attack percentage.
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