Sept. 22, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team continues its six-match road swing when it travels to Huntington, W.Va., for its 2010 Conference USA opener at Marshall. The Knights will face-off with the Thundering Herd Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Cam Henderson Center.
The pair of matches at Marshall mark the beginning of an extended league-season for the members of C-USA, as league officials and coaches voted to do away with the C-USA Volleyball Championship beginning in 2010. With the dissolution of the conference tournament, the Knights will play a 20-match C-USA schedule as opposed to the former 16-match format.
The Black and Gold make the trip north with a 7-5 overall record. The Knights opened the season with seven-straight victories, but have lost their last five contests, which included three losses last weekend at the Chattanooga Classic.
Outside hitter Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) paces UCF's offense with 186 kills and 206.0 total points, while ranking third among her C-USA counterparts in both categories. On the right side, Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) is close behind Fisher, contributing 121 kills and 144.0 points to the offense, while adding a team-best 14 service aces.
Fisher not only leads the Knights on the offensive side of the ball, but the junior also boasts a team-best 18.0 total blocks and ranks third on the squad with 96 digs.
Sophomores Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) and Dani Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla.) have combined for 301 digs in UCF's back court, with Murphy ranking seventh in C-USA with a 4.23 digs-per-set average and Harrison ranking 18th in the league after averaging 2.70 digs per set.
The Herd hosts the Black and Gold with an even 6-6 record on the season after going 2-1 last weekend at the St. Louis University Tournament. During the event, Marshall defeated Western Kentucky and Lipscomb, while falling to host St. Louis.
Elizabeth Herman and Elizabeth Fleming have been the Herd's one-two punch offensively all season long. Herman has benefitted from Fleming's 455 assists on the year by posting a team-best 167 kills and 182.5 total points. Herman also ranks second on her squad with 25 total blocks.
Marshall's Cameron Yoho holds the team lead with 31.0 total blocks for the defense, while Laura Der paces the back court with 155 digs.
The Knights and the Thundering Herd have met each other on the court 12 times in the all-time series, with Marshall holding a 2-10 advantage. However, the Black and Gold has had its share of success when opening C-USA play, holding a 3-2 record since joining the league.
Live stats, video and radio are available for both matches at the Cam Henderson Center at UCFAthletics.com.
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.