ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF volleyball team added to its historic 2018 season on Tuesday when the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its All-Region teams. Libero Jordan Pingel and outside hitter McKenna Melville were named to the AVCA Southeast All-Region squad. Melville also became the first player in program history to earn AVCA Southeast Region Freshman of the Year honors.
The duo marked the first time UCF has put multiple players on an All-Region squad since 2014.
The AVCA Southeast Region is comprised of 38 teams across the American Athletic Conference, the ASUN, Big South, SEC, Southern, SWAC and Sun Belt.
Easily one of the best liberos in program history, Pingel saved her best for her final year at UCF. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native totaled 597 digs at a 5.1 per set mark, both program records. Pingel topped 20 digs in 17 matches this season. Against AVCA Top-50 teams, she totaled 4.46 digs per set, 25 assist and three service aces.
Playing in all 117 sets this season, Pingel finished the year ranked 33rd in total digs and 39th in digs per set. The lone senior on the 2018 roster closed her career with a program-best 2,262 digs and 4.72 digs per set. She was named The American Defensive Player of the Week four times during the season and earned the first All-Conference selection of her career.
Melville had one of the best freshmen campaigns in program history. The rookie posted a 4.51 kills per set mark after scorching 529 kills on the year, nearly a third of UCF’s total production. Defensively, the Eagan, Minn., native recorded 3.62 digs per frame and .44 blocks per set, including a team-high 17 solos. The double-double machine reached double figures in two kills and digs on 22 occasions, including a pair of 20-20 outings.
Melville ranked 10th in total kills, 12th in points, 14th in total attacks, 15th in attacks per set, 15th in kills per set and 16th in points per set nationally. She notched a 4.36 kills per set average at a .249 attack percentage with 3.46 digs and eight blocks against AVCA Top-50 programs. The outside was named The American Freshman of the Year, along with four picks as the league’s Offensive Player of the Week.
Melville and Pingel were instrumental in guiding the Knights to their first NCAA Tournament national seed in program history. The Knights went 27-4 on the year with a perfect 18-0 mark in The American, earning the Black and Gold its second league championship.
Head coach Todd Dagenais was named The American Coach of the Year, while outside Kristina Fisher joined Pingel and Melville on the All-Conference First Team, and Anne-Marie Watson earned a spot on the league’s Second Team. UCF broke the single-game and single-season blocks record for UCF and set the program’s DI record for longest winning streak at 24 matches.
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