Nov. 25, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
EL PASO, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) hit .444 with a match-best 16 kills and Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) posted her 13th double-double of 2010 with 12 kills and 11 digs as the UCF volleyball team swept host UTEP, 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19), in its final road contest of the season Friday night at Memorial Gym.
"Angelica Crump is now fully recovered from her illness and was obviously a huge factor in this match," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "She just really physically dominated her side of the net, which is something we need her to do on a night-in and night-out basis. This is three matches in a row now where Angelica has been great."
The win improved the Knights' record to 15-16 overall and to a program-best 8-11 in Conference USA action, while also matching their most wins in a season since 2003 when the squad went 23-7 overall. The Miners dropped to 12-20 on the year and 4-15 in league play with the loss to the Black and Gold.
"Despite the fact that we were here last year, we forgot how difficult of a trip this is," Dagenais said. "I was very, very happy with how the team handled itself in preparation for this match. They really took ownership of all of the things off of the court that you have to do to handle the time zone change, the altitude and to make sure you stay hydrated. Those kinds of little things help us to be in position where we can do the kinds of things that we did tonight."
In addition to Crump and Fisher's combined total of 28 kills in the contest, Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) and Nichole Riedel (Denver, Colo.) tallied six kills apiece in the effort. Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ont.) contributed a .500 attack percentage with four kills offensively, while also totaling six blocks to pace the Knights' defense at the net.
Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ont.) distributed 41 assists to help the Black and Gold hit an impressive .288 as a team, which included a .387 attack percentage in the second set where UCF recorded 17 kills on the way to a win.
"I was very pleased with the offensive output," Dagenais said. "I feel like hitting .288 was one of our higher matches in conference this year. We really felt like we had all of our weapons at our disposal, and I thought our passing and our defense was stellar tonight. And, once again, our blocking came up really big. All these little things that we have been working on all year put us in position at the end of the year to be successful."
Three different players tallied double-digit digs in the victory, with libero Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) leading the way with 12 digs, Fisher adding her 11 digs and Dani Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla.) posting 10 digs in her third-straight 10+ dig performance.
Despite getting off to a slow start in the opening set, in which it trailed by as many as five points, UCF put together a 6-1 run late in the set to even the match at 20-20 behind two kills and a block from Riedel. The squad would fall down once more, but Fisher and McCutcheon ignited the visiting squad to a significant run of five-straight points to finish the comeback and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set proved to be a close battle between the two squads, as neither team led by more than three points through the entire contest. UCF held the advantage though the first 36 points, before the Miners crept back into the set and tied the score five different times late. But, a kill from Crump gave the Black and Gold its final lead of the contest and sparked her squad to a 5-2 run to earn the second-set victory.
From the first to the final serve of the third set, it was all UCF in the third set. As, behind the serving of Vilde, the Knights took a 5-0 lead and never looked back. The Black and Gold took an eight-point advantage three times during the contest, with its final time coming at match point, 24-16. The home team would string together three straight points, but an error by UTEP allowed the Knights to win the set and the match.
UCF concludes its 2010 season Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. contest against the Miners at The Venue at UCF. The match will also serve as the final contest for three Knights, as Fisher, Sara Rex (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Brittanie Wallace (Austin, Texas) are set to graduate in the spring.
Saturday's Senior Day contest vs. UTEP can be followed live on UCFAthletics.com via Gametracker for live stats and Knights All-Access for a live video feed.