Aug. 6, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF volleyball head coach Todd Dagenais has not only been busy preparing for his third season at the helm of the Knights this summer, but he has also been busy shaping the talent of the future as the head coach of the USA Junior National A2 Red team. The UCF skipper recently led the young squad to a silver medal finish at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
"I really enjoyed my experience coaching for USA Volleyball this summer," Dagenais said. "It is always exciting to coach the top players in the country in their age group. I missed coaching the international game, and working summers with USA Volleyball has allowed me to satisfy that interest. I look forward to doing more of that in the future because it is important for UCF to strengthen its ties with USA Volleyball."
Dagenais and his squad, which was made up of the top 40 players in the country at the 20-under level, spent eight days training for the competition. The training group, which was made up of 30 athletes, was then divided into three teams, with Dagenais picked to guide the Junior A2 Red team.
Once competition began, Dagenais and his team swept through both pool play and bracket play undefeated, earning them a berth in the gold medal match against the USA Youth National Team.
After dropping the first two sets of the championship finale, Dagenais' squad fought back to win the next two and evened the match at two sets apiece, before falling just short in the decisive fifth set, 15-9, to take home the silver medal.
"It was such an honor to coach against the USA Youth National Team," Dagenais said, "especially with them coming off a successful world championship qualifier tournament."
Prior to competing at the High Performance Championships against the Junior A2Red team, the USA Youth National Team, which ranks in the top-10 in the world, posted an undefeated record to claim top honors at the NORCECA Youth Continental Championship and qualify for the FIVB Youth World Championship in 2011.
Dagenais does not have much time to rest coming off his successful High Performance Championship appearance, however, as he and the Knights open preseason training camp Aug. 9 at The Venue at UCF.