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Set for Alumni Weekend
October 12, 2017
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of the Venue this weekend to square off with UConn and Temple in American Athletic Conference play.

The Knights (9-9, 2-4) will host its annual Alumni Weekend, welcoming back former players who have worn the Black & Gold over the years. On Friday, UCF will face UConn at 7 p.m. During the match, past Knights will be recognized for their contributions to the program.

Sunday will be Dig Pink for UCF Volleyball, as the Knights face Temple at 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support breast cancer awareness. The Black and Gold will wear pink socks and pink ribbons.

"It's really been crazy to think that we've been on the road for 14 of 18 games," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "It's good to be home in front of our fans. We're a team that needs that right now. When you add so many new parts and new players, you have to find a way to find who you are and what you do well. As we try to integrate new players into the lineup, there's been some great highs and some bumps along the way, and that's to be expected. Our goal at the start of the season was to finish the year better than where we were when we started. I think we're well within that goal.

"We always have tough battles with UConn. They have tremendous athletes in all-conference and all-region caliber players. They're in that bunch of eight or nine teams in The American where anybody can beat anyone at any place on any night. UConn is one of those teams that is still finding their way. It'll be a terrific test for us.

"Then we face Temple. They're one of the favorites in the conference. Temple has one of the best assemblies of national and international talent in the league, and it's great to get them at home. They know what it's like to be on the verge of making the NCAA Tournament. I'm sure that has them very hungry this year. We're going to have a challenging weekend. It's what we want, and it's what we need to build the team that we want to be at the end of the season."

LAST TIME OUT
* UCF went on the road to play Tulsa and SMU.
* For the third straight Friday, the Black and Gold went to five sets. Despite a season-high 105 team digs, the Knights fell to the Golden Hurricane. Five players finished in double-figure digs, led by Kia Bright's career-high 25.
* In the weekend finale at SMU, the Knights took early leads in all three sets, but the Mustangs rallied to take the match in three games.

SURGING SENIORS
* Redshirt seniors Taylor Wickey and Kia Bright have led the Knights as captains with their play on the court this season.
* Wickey has 10 block solos in 2017, giving her 41 for her career. The Omaha, Neb., native is just two away from cracking the program's top-10 for career block solos.
* With a .381 hitting percentage, Wickey sits atop The American leaderboard.
* After joining the 1,000-1,000 club earlier this season, Bright ranks 10th in school history in kills with 1,157. The native of Starke, Fla., needs 17 digs to overtake Amy Gendreau (1992-95) for 10th in career digs

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
* UConn is 9-9 this season with a 2-4 mark in The American.
* The Huskies have four players averaging above two kills per set, topped by Kayla Williams at 3.84.
* The UCF serve receive will have to be on guard this weekend, as Williams leads the league in aces with 1.55 per match.

SCOUTING THE OWLS
* Temple comes into the weekend at 8-6 and tied for third in the league at 4-2.
* Through the first 18 games of the season, Izzy Rapacz averaged 3.20 kills per set with a .257 clip at the net.
* In the AAC, the Owls rank first in blocks per set (2.6), second in hitting percentage (.236), third in kills per set (13.4) and third in assists per set (12.5)

SERIES HISTORIES
* UCF holds a healthy 8-1 advantage over UConn, including a season sweep in 2016.
* The series between the Knights and the Owls is tied at 5-5.

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