Sept. 9, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team looks to stay unbeaten as it hosts it first home event, the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic, this weekend at The Venue at UCF. The Knights will face Florida Atlantic Friday at 1 p.m., before taking on Baylor later that evening at 7:30 p.m. The tournament will come to a close for the Black and Gold Saturday afternoon with a 1:30 p.m. contest against Jacksonville.
All matches of the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic can be followed live on Gametracker, while each of Knights' contests will also be streamed live through Knights All-Access Video Player.
UCF hosts the event after rattling off six-straight wins and taking home both the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament and UNC Wilmington Tournament titles, marking the first time since joining the Division I ranks that the squad has posted a 6-0 record. The Black and Gold is also the only team in Conference USA to enter the weekend undefeated.
Team chemistry has been a main component to the Knights' successful start, but so has the play of junior Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) and sophomores Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) and Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia). All three Knights have been honored with spots on both the FGCU and UNCW All-Tournament teams, with Fisher garnering MVP accolades last weekend.
Fisher leads the Black and Gold with a 4.47 kills-per-set average, 76 kills and 81.5 points, while Vilde follows closely behind with a 3.15 kills-per-set average, 63 kills and 72.5 points. Vilde also leads the squad with nine total blocks.
Murphy, on the other hand, has been a consistent presence for UCF in the back court, pacing the team with 80 digs, 4.21 digs per set and also boasts a team-best seven service aces.
Florida Atlantic comes to The Venue with a 6-2 overall record after competing at both the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament and the Stetson Invitational to open the year. The Knights lead the all-time series vs. the Owls, 27-8.
Baylor makes its way to Orlando with a 4-4 overall record and is receiving seven votes in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll despite falling in all three matches of the Diet Coke Minnesota Classic last weekend. The Bears are led offensively by Ashlie Christenson, who has tallied 101 kills and is averaging 3.06 kills per set through eight matches. The Black and Gold trail Baylor, 0-2, in the all-time series.
UCF closes out the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic Saturday against a Jacksonville team that has started the season 2-5 following competition in the Big Orange Bash and the Sacred Heart University Invitational. UCF holds a 40-14 advantage in the all-time series vs. the Dolphins.
Season tickets are now available for purchase for only $30 online at UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000. The Knights are set to host 13 regular-season matches at The Venue at UCF this season, which includes 10 Conference USA contests.