Volleyball

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Taking on Temple
November 17, 2016
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com)
--The UCF volleyball team returns to The Venue for its final home weekend, hosting Temple and UConn. The Knights take on the Owls on Friday evening and the Huskies on Sunday afternoon.

Free parking will be available in Garage F, but please note that West Plaza Drive is closed due to Light Up UCF. Please use East Plaza Drive or McCulloch Road to access Garage F.

On Friday, the first 100 fans will win a Knightro November bobblehead along with 200 fans getting free fries. The match is also Family Night, where the team's families will join them on the court for introductions and the national anthem. On Sunday, the first 100 fans will receive rally towels as the Knights will be honoring three players for senior day following the match, Jalé Hervey, Taylor Gallart and Halle Scott.
UCF Knights (21-8, 11-5 AAC) vs. Temple Owls (19-7, 12-4 AAC)
Friday, Nov. 18 | 7 p.m.
Orlando, Fla. | The Venue
Video (Free) | Live Stats | @UCF_Volleyball | Game Notes
UCF Knights (21-8, 11-5 AAC) vs. UConn Huskies (16-11, 7-9 AAC)
Sunday, Nov. 20 | 1 p.m.
Orlando, Fla. | The Venue Stadium
Video | Live Stats | @UCF_Volleyball | Game Notes

On Monday, sophomore Jordan Pingel was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native helped the team to a 1-1 weekend, sweeping Tulsa and falling to conference leader SMU. The libero led UCF defensively to end Tulsa's five-match win streak with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-18) victory over the Golden Hurricane. Pingel registered a career three-set high 24 digs in the victory along with four assists. Against SMU, she tallied 17 digs and two assists.

The Black and Gold (21-8, 11-5 AAC) open the weekend with a match against Temple. The Owls (19-7, 12-4 AAC) went 1-1 last weekend, sweeping ECU and falling to Cincinnati in five sets. Iren Asci leads the team with 446 kills, averaging 4.46 kills per set, and 292 digs. First on the team in assists in Kyra Coundourides with 1066. With 334 digs, Mia Heirakuji is first on the team, while Kirsten Overton leads the team with 98 total blocks (13 solo, 85 assists).

The last time the Knights met the Owls, UCF defeated Temple in five sets on the road. Redshirt junior Kia Bright led the team with 25 kills, hitting at a .367 clip.

"We beat them in five at their place (last time), and maybe caught them by surprise a little bit," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "It is a big match for us, because we are practically tied in the RPI, and I don't know if the NCAA would take both of us. They are playing extremely well and have so many ways of being able to win. It's going to take us a while to draw up a good game plan, and we will see if we can find a way to slow them down enough to outscore them. It's going to be a battle, with two teams who are hungry with post-season goals and against a team who is pretty darn good."

On Sunday, the Knights take on UConn (16-11, 7-9 AAC). Last weekend, the Huskies went 1-1, defeating East Carolina and falling to Cincinnati. Kayla Williams leads the Huskies in two categories, kills (349) and digs (278). On the season, Emma Turner and Rebecca Rivera have 622 and 548 assists, respectively. Tosin Adeniyi leads the team with 70 total blocks (16 solo, 54 assists).

The Black and Gold swept UConn in their last meeting, with senior Jalé Hervey and Bright leading the way with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Redshirt junior Taylor Wickey also posted a game-high six total blocks in that match, followed by freshman Jeanne Westney with five total blocks.

"I still keep saying that UConn is one of those teams that is so much better than their conference record indicates," said Dagenais. "It's a strong team from antenna to antenna including the middle. They have a very well-run offense and defensively they are tough. I think they pose a tremendous challenge with playing such a quality team on Sunday, especially with everything that is on the line."

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