Oct. 11, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
The Knights (6-12, 3-3) will take on the Tigers (6-14, 1-5) Friday night at 8 p.m., and then battle the Blazers (10-11, 3-3) Sunday at 1 p.m.
The first opponent for the Black and Gold will be Memphis. The Tigers rank in the top half of the conference in kills, assists and service aces proving that they have a formidable and balanced offensive attack. Memphis is led by senior outside hitter Altrese Hawkins who ranks fourth in the conference in kills per set with 3.95. Hawkins is also hitting a strong .251 on the year and will undoubtedly be a focus for the Knights' defense.
After the tilt with the Tigers, the Knights will travel approximately 250 miles southeast to battle the Blazers. UAB has won three matches in a row and features a different set of challenges for the Knights as they rank in the top part of the conference in opponents hitting percentage, blocks and digs. The Blazers feature the most efficient player in C-USA as senior Sam Serley leads the league with a .377 attack percentage. Serley is also a dynamic defensive player as she leads the conference in blocks per set with an elite 1.33 per frame.
Last weekend, the Black and Gold earned their biggest victory of the season as they defeated conference-leading Tulsa, 3-1, at The Venue on Sunday. The Golden Hurricane came into the match with a 43-2 record in their previous 45 conference matches and UCF had not defeated them since 2008.
The victory over Tulsa featured tremendous play from the Knights' outside hitters as redshirt junior Angelica Crump recorded nine of her 16 kills in the match-clinching fourth set. Sophomore Ashley Gialenios came off the bench and blasted 14 kills in just two sets, including the final three of the contest to seal the win.