Nov. 14, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The best goes against the best this weekend at The Venue as the UCF Volleyball team returns home to kick off a four-match home stand against conference-leading Louisville and Cincinnati. The Black and Gold have won five-consecutive matches and currently sit in sole possession of second place in the American Athletic Conference standings.
On Friday night the Knights (18-7, 9-3 The American) will celebrate Medieval Night against the first place Cardinals (18-7, 13-0) at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to dress up in their best medieval gear and prepare for a night of feasting and sport the likes of which they will never forget.
Louisville has an explosive, but balanced offense as five players have recorded between 165 and 271 kills. True freshman Maya McClendon has been by far the top newcomer in The American as she leads her squad with 271 kills while chipping in 257 digs and 14 service aces. For her efforts, McClendon has been named Freshman of the Week a league-best five times this season. The Cardinals rank just behind UCF with a .244 attack percentage and have won eight-straight matches.
Louisville is very good, UCF head coach Todd Dagenais said. They are very experienced and have a ton of volleyball IQ and composure not to mention an incredible coaching staff that puts them in the right position to win. There's no doubt that Louisville is the gold standard in the league right now in terms of their ability to play, their program overall and their athletes. Beating them is an uphill challenge for anybody in this conference."
Sunday will see UCF take on the Bearcats (1-26, 1-12) at 2 p.m. Cincinnati is one of the youngest teams in all of college volleyball with nine underclassmen, including five starting freshmen. It's been a difficult year thus far for the inexperience group, but they have steadily improved as the season has progressed. The Knights earned their first road victory in conference play with a sweep in Ohio on Oct. 10.
Cincinnati is a team that has done exactly what I thought would happen with them, Dagenais continued. They were so young to start the year and each week they got a little bit better and then they got a win. Anytime you take that many new players to start a year, it takes almost a full year to gel. Coach (Molly) Alvey has done a great job of teaching their young players and we know they are going be much better this time around.
Please note, due to the UCF Men's Basketball event at the CFE Arena, parking for the volleyball match on Sunday will be located in Garage D and will cost $5 dollars. Fans will not be permitted to park in Garage F as that is exclusive paid parking for basketball at CFE Arena.