Aug. 21, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - On its final day of preseason training camp, the UCF volleyball team welcomed fans and media members to The Venue at UCF Saturday afternoon for its Fan and Media Day, where Black and Gold loyal were able to mingle with the Knights over lunch, before watching the squad play in its annual Black and Gold Scrimmage.
Both fans and media members were treated to a first glance at UCF's 2010 squad with a meet-and-greet during lunch. At that time, third-year head coach Todd Dagenais introduced the team's nine returners from 2009, the squad's six newcomers and also gave his guests the opportunity to introduce themselves to the team.
Following lunch, the Knights signed autographs for fans, both young and old alike, and were able to meet with members of the local media one-on-one.
Dagenais also addressed media members during a press conference, where he previewed the season and talked about the goals his squad is determined to reach in 2010.
"The goals have to stay the same," Dagenais said. "Our main goal has to be to win the Conference USA Championship, because that is the way that you get into the NCAA Tournament. How realistic is that goal right now? I don't know. I know that we have a shot. Are we one of the elite teams in the conference? I can't say that we are right now, but that doesn't mean that we couldn't be by late October or early November. I think that this year it is very realistic for us to shoot for the first over .500 league season since the team has been in C-USA. I also think that it is a good goal for us to be in the top-four in conference, because if we're in the top-four, we have knocked somebody off that is pretty good. Lastly, I want to be a top-100 RPI team this year. If we can go from 247 to top-100 in three years, that's as strong a move as anyone has made in NCAA volleyball."
The Knights took the first step toward those team goals later in the afternoon, playing in their third-annual Black and Gold Scrimmage.
The scrimmage served as the finale to the Knights' preseason training camp and the beginning of its quest to build a solid foundation for the season.
The Black team came back from two sets down to defeat the Gold squad, 3-2 (23-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-11) in the five-set match, posting a .600 attack percentage with 10 kills in the decisive fifth set.
Collectively, the Knights tallied 25 total blocks, which included 40 block assists and five block solos, while also posting an impressive 111 kills and 11 service aces.
The Black and Gold opens the 2010 season Aug. 27-28 when it participates in the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament against the host Eagles, Houston Baptist and Bethune-Cookman.
UCF's first home stretch begins Sept. 10-11 as it hosts the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic. During the event, the Knights will face-off with Florida Atlantic, Baylor and Jacksonville.