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Golden Knights Return Home to Host Rice
October 12, 2005
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Oct. 13, 2005

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ORLANDO - The UCF volleyball team opens a three-match Conference USA homestand on Friday, hosting Rice at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena. The Golden Knights (4-9, 2-4 C-USA) have not played at home since Oct. 4. Rice enters the contest with an 11-4 overall record and a 2-2 conference mark.

Donations to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina will be collected before the match and admission will be free for all fans who bring canned goods or make a monetary donation. All proceeds will be directly given to the United Way.

Fans attending the match should park on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the Convocation Center Housing garage next to the arena.

The contest will be aired live on www.UCFathletics.com as part of the "Golden Knights All-Access." UCF student broadcasters will call of the action. Pre-match coverage is slated for 6:30 p.m.

ABOUT UCF In its last match, UCF fell to host Marshall on Oct. 9, 3-0 (30-18, 30-14, 30-23). Against the Thundering Herd, Maina Heming led UCF with nine kills. Leah Alexander totaled 22 assists in the losing effort. The contest will mark UCF's fourth home match of the season. The squad is 2-1 at UCF Arena with all three matches coming during league play.

Head coach Meg Colado is in her seventh season at UCF. She has a 130-91 (.588) overall coaching mark and is 115-75 (.615) with the Golden Knights.

ABOUT RICE The Owls have won two matches in a row, including a 3-1 (30-26, 30-20, 20-30, 30-15) victory over visiting Sam Houston State on Tuesday. Outside hitter Olaya Pazo posted a double-double with 21 kills and 14 digs in the win. Pazo is third among all Conference USA players, averaging 4.84 kills per game. Setter Kristina Hoban leads the team in assists per game (11.74). On the year, Rice is 4-1 in away matches.

In her second season with the Owls, head coach Genny Volpe has a 36-9 mark.

UCF AGAINST THE OWLS The schools are meeting for the fourth time and the all-time series is tied, 2-2. In Orlando, each team has claimed one victory. A year ago, the teams played in Baton Rouge, La. in a tournament that was originally scheduled for Orlando, but was moved because of Hurricane Frances. The Owls claimed the match, 3-0 (30-15, 30-19, 30-25). Tanya Jarvis paced UCF with nine kills and Michelle Spaleta totaled 16 digs.

SCHEDULE ISSUES Both of UCF's home matches that were postponed due to Hurricane Rita have been rescheduled. UCF will face Tulsa on Oct. 18 at UCF Arena. That match was originally slated for Sept. 25 at the Education Gym. The squad's home match with Florida Atlantic will be played on Nov. 13.

HEPP HEPP HOORAY Although just a freshman, Jenny Heppert is among the nation's leaders is service aces per game. Her 0.71 aces per game rank 10th nationally. That mark also leads the conference. Heppert is also currently sixth in the C-USA rankings, averaging 1.03 blocks per game.

BLOCK IT OUT At SMU on Oct. 4, Jana Mitchell recorded four block solos, one of the best performances in UCF history. The four solo blocks tie Mitchell for sixth on the school's single-match register. On the year, she has recorded 41 total blocks and is averaging 0.89 blocks per game.

IMPACT TRANSFERS In their first season in Orlando, junior college transfers Leah Alexander and Maina Heming have made their mark with the Golden Knights. Alexander paces UCF, averaging 8.52 assists per game. Heming's 3.23 kills per game also lead the team. She has posted six double-doubles on the year, including three in conference play.

A TOUGH SLATE Rice will be the fourth team that UCF has faced in 2005 that participated in the NCAA Championship a year ago. In 2004, the Owls went 25-5 and faced Michigan in the first round of the postseason. On Sept. 3, UCF faced sixth-ranked Minnesota at the Diet Coke Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. A year ago, the Golden Gophers advanced to the national title match. To start the season, the Golden Knights visited Florida A&M and Jacksonville, who both played in the postseason last year as well.

ON DECK UCF hosts Houston on Saturday at 1 p.m. at UCF Arena... The Cougars hold a 1-0 series edge. In 1996, Houston claimed a 3-0 (15-9, 15-13, 16-14) win over the Golden Knights at the Kentucky Conference Challenge in Lexington, Ky. That season, UCF posted a 23-13 mark and claimed its fifth consecutive Atlantic Sun title. Head coach Laura Smith's squad participated in the NCAA Championship that season for the third straight year.

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