ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – As the UCF volleyball team prepares for its summer workouts, the Knights will have a host of new faces joining the squad, including graduate transfer libero Makenzie Kuchmaner from NC State.
The Waxhaw, N.C., native will look to fill the gap left by four-year starter and All-American Jordan Pingel, who graduated after leading the Knights to the American Athletic Conference Championship in 2018.
“The fact that we graduated Jordan but returned an entire squad with big hopes and dreams for the 2019 season left us with a hole that we needed to be filled,” head coach Todd Dagenais said. “Knowing that it takes over a year for a freshman to get used to the speed of the collegiate game made it more worrisome to fill that hole. We were fortunate enough to find a starting libero who has competed at a level high enough that will help us maintain our program with all our goals still in reach.
“Makenzie came to UCF not only to help us be what we were last year but to help us take the next step and beyond. She has a passion and an energy that fits in perfectly with our young and hungry team determined to push the envelope.”
Kuchmaner joined the Knights after four seasons with the Wolfpack. In 2017, she guided N.C. State to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. She finished with 3.11 digs per set, 152 assists and 26 service aces over 80 matches in three seasons of playing in Raleigh.
She saved her best for her final season with the Wolfpack as the back-row anchor. Playing in every match, Kuchmaner posted a 4.69 digs per set mark on 516 stops over 110 sets. She also added a career-best 17 service aces and dropped 100 assists for a 0.91 assists per set mark.
Kuchmaner recorded a career-high 32 digs twice in 2018, both coming against Notre Dame.
Prior to her time at N.C. State, she played at Marvin Ridge High School and for the Carolina Juniors Volleyball Club. Kuchmaner was a three-time all-conference honoree and earned Union County Player of the Year, conference MVP, First Team All-Charlotte Observer and all-county super team as a senior.
No stranger to the American Athletic Conference, Kuchmaner’s brother, Jake, is in the weekend rotation for the ECU baseball team that won The American Regular Season Championship.
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