UCF Volleyball Falls to Southern Miss on Senior Night


Nov. 15, 2008

Final Stats

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team fell in a five-set heartbreaker, 3-2 (26-24, 25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 14-16), to Conference USA-foe Southern Miss Saturday night at the Venue at UCF, despite getting a match-high 20 kills from senior Stephanie Serna (San Antonio, Texas) and seven blocks from senior Jenny Heppert (Lawrence, Kan.) on Senior Night.

"(Serna and Heppert) mean absolutely everything to this team," head coach Todd Dagenais said after the match. "What we did this year was not easy. It takes people to make things happen, and I was very lucky to have two seniors who could take the program by the reins and say don't worry coach, we will lead. It is these two, on and off the court with their work ethic, that we can build this program around. The future is so bright for this program, and the reason for it is these two seniors."

With the loss, the Knights fall to 14-16 on the season and, with a 6-10 record in C-USA play, will learn their seed for the C-USA Volleyball Championship following the conclusion of the SMU vs. Tulsa match Sunday afternoon. The Black and Gold can be seeded either No. 8 to No. 9 depending on if the Mustangs win or lose.

Janine Williams (Gainesville, Fla.) posted 16 kills and 11 digs, while Erin Campbell (Kansas City, Mo.) added 11 kills and 15 digs to give the Knights a pair of double-doubles in the contest.

The Knights took an early 5-1 lead in the opening set, courtesy of two kills and a block from Serna. The Black and Gold went up by as many as seven points, 17-10, but Southern Miss went on a 13-6 run to even the set, 23-23. A kill from Lauren Williams (Lake Mary, Fla.) gave the home team back the lead. The Golden Eagles tied the set again with a kill, but two-consecutive errors by the visitors gave UCF the opening-set victory.

Defensively, freshman Renele Forde (Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago) tallied seven blocks assists, while Lauren Williams added four. In the back row, libero Kathleen Curry (Geneva, Fla.) had a team-best 23 digs.

UCF jumped out to an 11-3 lead to open the second set behind three-straight service aces by Andrea Youngblood (Castle Rock, Colo.). The Knights led by as many as nine points, 21-12, near the end of the set, before a 6-0 run by the Golden Eagles cut UCF's lead to three. Kills from Janine Williams, Campbell and Serna capped off the set for the Black and Gold, giving the home team a 2-0 advantage in the match. UCF could not maintain its lead, however, dropping the final three sets to Southern Miss.

"It meant a lot knowing that this was going to be the last time I would be defending my home court," Serna said. "I gave everything I could and every ounce of my being to the team. It means a lot to be able to show people that this is our court and this is how far we have come. We wanted to show everybody we were playing for them and defending our home court."

Both teams were evenly matched throughout the contest, with each squad totaling 66 kills on 178 attacks. But, the Black and Gold controlled the match in digs, aces, assists and blocks. The difference in the contest came down to errors, with UCF totaling 33 errors to only 24 for the Golden Eagles.

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)
Southern Miss vs UCF (Nov 15, 2008 at Orlando, Fla.)

Southern Miss def. UCF 24-26,21-25,25-20,25-19,16-14

Southern Miss (17-12, 7-9 C-USA) (Kills-aces-blocks) - HLAVATY, Angela
17-2-5; PETRINEC, Ashley 15-0-1; SEARS, Lauren 12-1-4; CHERRY, Stevi
11-0-0; SEYMOUR, Kelsea 4-0-0; BOWDEN, Sarah Jane 2-0-2; CLARKE,
Caitlin 2-0-2; BROOM, Lauren 2-0-2; KNECHT, Lisa 1-0-0; IVANOVA, Maia
0-1-0; Totals 66-4-9.0. (Assists) - SEYMOUR, Kelsea 56. (Dig leaders)
- IVANOVA, Maia 30; HLAVATY, Angela 11; PETRINEC, Ashley 8

UCF (14-16, 6-10 C-USA) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Serna, Stephanie 20-0-2;
Williams, Janine 16-0-2; Campbell, Erin 11-1-0; Williams, Lauren
7-0-4; Heppert, Jenny 5-0-7; Forde, Renele 5-0-7; Fisher, Kristin
2-1-0; Youngblood, Andrea 0-3-0; Curry, Kathleen 0-1-0; Totals
66-6-13.0. (Assists) - Rosenthal, Lauren 37; Youngblood, Andrea 22
. (Dig leaders) - Curry, Kathleen 23; Campbell, Erin 15; WILLIAMS,
Janine 11; Rosenthal, Lauren 9

Site: Orlando, Fla. (The Venue at UCF)
Date: Nov 15, 2008 Attend: 386 Time: 2:14
Referees: Darin Clark, Leisa Jordan