Feb. 26, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) -The UCF volleyball team opens its busy 2013 spring season this Saturday with a tournament tripleheader against Florida, Florida State and professional team the Florida WAVE at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla beginning at 10 a.m.
Our spring schedule allows us to play some stiff competition and, ready or not, the first tournament is here, head coach Todd Dagenais said. We have haven't spent as much time on team training as we might have liked because we've been so focused on individual work, but this tournament will allow us to just get on the floor and play. It's a great opportunity to compete against some nationally-ranked teams. Our goal this spring is to get as many people as much playing time in as many different positions as possible. It's a building period for us as we look to fill the holes created by losing four players to graduation.
This Saturday's games are just the start of a jam-packed spring schedule for UCF. The Knights will host Florida on March 16 at 4:30 p.m. with the match being open to the public. Following that event, the Black and Gold will host the UCF Spring Fling tournament the following Saturday, March 23, when they will welcome Miami, USF, Auburn, Georgia Southern, Tampa, Jacksonville, Bethune Cookman, West Florida, FIU, Florida Southern and Flagler. The 12-team event spans from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Venue and will cost $5 to attend, with proceeds benefitting the Florida Chapter of Hands and Voices.
We always look forward to our Spring Fling tournament, Dagenais continued. Not only are we able to bring in some big name schools, we're also fortunate that the state of Florida is home to some of the top Division II teams in the country like Tampa (No. 2 in final AVCA poll) and that they are willing to attend.
UCF then heads to Coral Gables to face the Hurricanes again on April 6. Match time has yet to be determined for the fourth and final contest of the spring.
Our prep for the BIG EAST started a couple years ago and we consider this spring our final preparation, Dagenais concluded. We dealt with some major losses graduating as many four-year starters as we did, but we've spent a great deal of time working on our out-of-system offense as well as our ball control, our serve/receive game, and our defense. That has been the theme of practice all the way through small group training and into team training.