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PREVIEW: Liberos/Defensive Specialists
August 21, 2017
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The 2017 UCF Volleyball season opens up this Friday and UCFKnights.com will preview each position group for the Knights, as they enter their 10th campaign under head coach Todd Dagenais.

LIBERO/DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST
After setting a program record with 17.1 digs per set in 2016, the Knights enter the new campaign with a backline that returns three of its top players. The Black and Gold tallied 2,051 digs on the year, which ranked fifth in school history. As in most positions, UCF has depth in the back court with junior Jordan Pingel, sophomore Abby Zimroth and freshmen Mary Kate Painter and Kat Felice.

"The depth in this position is nothing like I've remembered in recent history," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "We've got Jordan at libero. I have no problem putting Abby in that spot if we need to. Kat and Mary Kate will continue to grow, but they're starting at much higher level than players we've had in the past."

Junior Jordan Pingel returns to anchor the back row for her third year in the libero's jersey. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native became just the 11th player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs last season. Pingel enters the season ranked seventh in the career record books and has averaged more than 4.5 digs per set in her first two seasons with UCF.

"Jordan has steadily improved since her freshman year," Dagenais added. "A lot of sophomores tend to slump, but she didn't. She had a great year. I've never seen her as confident as she is right now, not only with what she needs to do, but with what everybody else has to do on the court. She truly is doing a great job of managing the back in serve receive and defense."

Zimroth, along with the freshmen duo will have opportunities to make an impact after impressing during the preseason camp. Zimroth saw some action last year, making her collegiate debut against Florida State.

"They say you can't do it unless you see it," Dagenais continued. "To learn and see it from a player like Jordan and how she prepares has helped the younger players. Abby is doing a really good job in passing and playing defense. Kat and Mary Kate are learning from two great players ahead of them. It will take them some time get used to the velocity and power. I would expect them to get better in the spring, much like Abby did."

DON'T MISS OUT
UCF Volleyball hits the court for its 10th season under head coach Todd Dagenais. Don't miss a single minute of action at The Venue. Visit UCFKnights.com or call (407) 823-1000 for ticket information.

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