Oct. 1, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
HOUSTON, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - Sophomore Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ont.) hit .750 with a career-high 12 kills and four blocks despite the UCF volleyball team dropping a Conference USA match to Houston, 3-1 (21-25, 12-25, 25-19, 18-25), at the UH Athletics/Alumni Center Friday evening.
The Knights fell to 7-8 on the season and 0-3 in league contests with the loss, while the Cougars improved to 8-8 overall and 2-2 in C-USA play.
Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) led the Black and Gold and tied the match-high with 14 kills and added six digs, while both Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) and Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) added six kills. Vilde also posted a team-best five blocks for the visiting Knights.
The Knights and the Cougars tied seven times in the opening set, but the host team was able to pull away from the Black and Gold midway through the game, 15-11. UCF closed the gap to within one point late, 22-21, before two errors by the Knights and a Houston kill closed out the set and put the Cougars ahead 1-0 in the match.
UCF took the lead from the home team three different times early in the second set. But, after a 7-7 deadlock Houston pulled away from the Knights and never looked back. The team used its home-court advantage to finish out the game on an 8-0 run to take a 2-0 advantage in the contest.
The Black and Gold came out of intermission on fire. The two squads were back and forth through the first six points of the set, before a block by Vilde and McCutcheon put the Knights ahead for the rest of the game. The visiting squad led by seven points eight different times throughout the set, which included a 5-0 run to make the score 17-10. Houston pulled within five of UCF, but a kill by McCutcheon gave UCF the third-set victory and kept UCF in the match. The Knights hit .423 as a team with 14 kills and only three errors in the set.
The fourth set proved to be all Houston, however, as the home team won 25-18 to seal the victory.
The Knights entertain Rice in their C-USA home-opener Sunday at 1 p.m., with the Owls carrying with them a 7-8 overall clip and a 2-1 league record. Rice defeated both Houston and Southern Miss to start league play with a 2-0 record, before falling to the Golden Eagles Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Knights trail the Owls, 2-6, in the all-time series with their last win coming in 1999.
Ashleigh McCord is the Owls' biggest offensive threat, as the junior ranks fourth in league standings in both kills (4.30/set) and points (4.59/set) heading into the weekend.
The first 200 students to UCF's match vs. Rice will be the first to receive the official student section t-shirt for the UCF vs. UAB football game.
Live stats and video are available for Sunday's contest at The Venue at UCF via 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.