Aug. 30, 2007
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team will face its toughest competition of the young season this weekend when it participates in the Colorado Invitational in Boulder, Colo. The Knights will open the tournament at 1 p.m. ET Friday against UNC-Wilmington, before facing No. 11 California at 6:30 p.m. ET later in the evening. UCF will conclude the tournament with an 8:30 p.m. ET match against host Colorado Saturday.
The Knights (1-3, 0-0 Conference USA) will be facing a ranked team for the first time this season.
UCF is heading into the Colorado Invitational on the tail of a big win over Chattanooga at the Georgia State Invitational last weekend. Despite going 1-3 at the tournament, the Knights showed steady improvement each match before prevailing in a hard-fought five-game contest to end the the event. In 2007, UCF is led by senior Schanell Neiderworder who has 52 kills (3.25/game) and two double-doubles, and all-tournament selection Stephanie Serna, who has 43 kills (2.69/game).
The trip to Colorado will serve as a homecoming for Neiderworder and sophomore Andrea Youngblood as both hail from the state.
Colorado returns 11 letterwinners from its 2006 squad that went 17-12 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Championship. The Buffs will return home to host the Colorado Invitational after a tough opening weekend at the All-State Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans. Colorado dropped its first match of the tournament to host Tulane, 3-2, before succumbing to Furman in its second-straight five-game match by the same score. The Buffs are led by Mallori Gibson with 35 kills (3.50/game) and five service aces. The Buffs and the Knights will meet for the third time at the Colorado Invitational, with the hosts leading the series, 2-0.
The Seahawks return 10 letterwinners from last season and welcome four newcomers as they look to improve on last season's 8-25 record. UNC-Wilmington opened its 2007 campaign at the UNC Greensboro/High Point Triad Challenge where it went 1-3 over the weekend after posting a 3-0 win over Kennesaw State on the final day of the event. The Seahawks were led by Rachael Caricato's 41 kills and 18 blocks. UNC-Wilmington and UCF's only other match was in 2000, when the Knights defeated the Seahawks, 3-0.
The Golden Bears return four starters and an additional six letterwinners from a 2006 squad that went 22-10 overall and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16, finishing the season ranked No. 13 in the country. Last weekend, Cal (3-0) went undefeated when it hosted the Cal Molten Classic to capture its 11th tournament victory in the last six years. The Bears are led by All-American and three-time All-Pac-10 selection Angie Pressey who is a leader among currently active Pac-10 players with 1,293 career kills. Friday's match will be the first between the Knights and the Bears.
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