UCF Volleyball Outlasts the Miners


Nov. 1, 2008

Final Stats

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF (14-13, 6-7 C-USA) volleyball team tallied 58 kills and a .333 attack percentage in the fifth set to outlast visiting UTEP, 3-2 (21-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-27, 15-7), Saturday night at The Venue at UCF. Freshman Kathleen Curry (Geneva, Fla.) paced the Knights' defense with 23 digs, helping the Knights post 72 digs for their third annual "Dig for the Cure" match.

"These past few weeks I have been struggling with the defensive aspect (of the game)," Curry said. "Todd (Dagenais) said that I needed to get better on defense and I just listened to him. He would say where the ball was going to go, and it went exactly to that area. I don't always think defense is a skill, I think it is an attitude, and that is what I stuck with tonight."

Also contributing to the Black and Gold's charity effort were Erin Campbell (Kansas City, Mo.) and Melissa Reinders (Winter Park, Fla.). Campbell had 15 digs in match, while Reinders added nine.

The victory improved UCF's record to 6-7 in Conference USA matches and 14-13 on the season, while also snapping the Black and Gold's seven-match losing skid. The Knight's 14 wins on the year ties the squad's win total from the previous two seasons combined, and their six C-USA-victories tie their top-mark set in 2005.

Janine Williams (Gainesville, Fla.) had a team-leading 16 kills in the win, while Stephanie Serna (San Antonio, Texas) and Jenny Heppert (Lawrence, Kan.) added 13 and 9, respectively, for the Knights. Heppert finished the night hitting .467 with six total blocks, and Lauren Williams (Lake Mary, Fla.) also totaled six blocks for UCF in the win.

"We knew we wanted (this win)," Heppert said. "We set our goals for the beginning of the weekend, and we really wanted to achieve them. With every ounce of our being we were going to get that goal. It was ugly and we are working on that, but we are ready to make a push for the end of the season."

UCF and UTEP traded leads to open the first set, before a Williams kill gave the Knights a 6-5 lead. The home team led by as many as five points following a 5-0 run, but the Miners evened the match, 10-10, with a 5-0 run of their own. After tying again, 11-11, UCF could not recapture the lead, trailing for the remainder of the set.

The second set opened with Campbell serving up five-consecutive points for the Knights. The five-point cushion dwindled as the Miners tied the set 9-9. Kills from Renele Forde (Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago) and Serna and a service ace from setter Lauren Rosenthal (Colorado Springs, Colo.) gave the lead back to the Knights, 14-11, before UTEP creeped back into the set and evened the score, 21-21. The Miners took back the lead, 24-21, before the Black and Gold rifled off a 5-1, aided by two blocks from Lauren Williams, to clinch the second set.

The Knights stole the third set from the Miners, before the visiting team rallied back to take the fourth and force a deciding fifth set.

In the decider, UCF used an 11-2 run to take a commanding, 12-3, lead, with Heppert having her hand in five of the Knights' points during the stretch. Following a UCF timeout at 13-6, a Campbell kill and a UTEP error gave the Black and Gold the victory.

The Knights return to the road next weekend when they face Marshall and East Carolina in C-USA action. Friday's match against the Thundering Herd is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Sunday's match against the Pirates is slated for 1 p.m.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Short Box Score (Match)
UTEP vs UCF (Nov 01, 2008 at Orlando, Fla.)

UCF def. UTEP 21-25,26-24,25-15,25-27,15-7

UTEP (6-30, 2-11 C-USA) (Kills-aces-blocks) - MENDENHALL, Daidre
15-0-10; SANDERS, Amy 15-1-1; McANELLY, Casey 8-0-1; MOONEY, Aidan
7-0-5; BLANCO, Irma 5-0-7; JARMOC, Patty 3-2-6; HYMAN-GIFTH, Keisha
1-0-0; CHAVEZ, Catherine 1-0-1; NOLASCO, Jennifer 0-2-0; Totals
55-5-17.0. (Assists) - JARMOC, Patty 49. (Dig leaders) - LANGFORD,
KeAnne 17; CHAVEZ, Catherine 13; SANDERS, Amy 12

UCF (14-13, 6-7 C-USA) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Williams, Janine 16-0-2;
Serna, Stephanie 13-0-3; Heppert, Jenny 9-0-6; Campbell, Erin 8-0-2;
Williams, Lauren 7-0-6; Rosenthal, Lauren 2-1-2; Forde, Renele 2-0-2;
Reinders, Melissa 1-1-0; Petrasic, Kristen 0-1-0; Curry, Kathleen
0-2-0; Youngblood, Andrea 0-1-0; Totals 58-6-13.0. (Assists) -
Rosenthal, Lauren 41. (Dig leaders) - Curry, Kathleen 23; CAMPBELL,
Erin 15; Reinders, Melissa 9; Rosenthal, Lauren 9; Williams, Janine 8

Site: Orlando, Fla. (The Venue at UCF)
Date: Nov 01, 2008 Attend: 404 Time: 2:05
Referees: Eric Vlahov, Donna Carter