UCF Volleyball Hits the Road for First Full C-USA Weekend

Sept. 24, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team enters its first full week of Conference USA action this weekend when it hits the road for a pair of contest against East Carolina and Marshall. The Black and Gold kicks off the weekend with a 7 p.m. outing against the Pirates Friday, before turning around to take on the Thundering Herd Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS College Sports.

The league-contest at the Cam Henderson Center, which is set to air on tape delay on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m., is the first nationally-televised event for the Knights' volleyball squad since it played for the Atlantic Sun Championship in 2003.

UCF enters the pair of C-USA meetings this weekend with an 8-6 record on the season after dropping four-straight last week at home at The Venue at UCF. The Black and Gold entertained a record crowd despite falling to USF on Tuesday, before opening C-USA play Friday against Southern Miss. After falling down two sets, UCF fought back to force a fifth set, but eventually succumbed to the Golden Eagles to fall to 0-1 in league play. In-state losses to FIU and FAMU at the Radisson-UCF Classic concluded the week for the Knights.

After totaling 47 kills last weekend at the Radisson-UCF Classic, senior outside hitter Erin Campbell (Kansas City, Mo.) is only eight kills and 20 digs away from becoming the fourth Knight in program-history to register both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career. Campbell leads the Black and Gold with 181 kills and is second on the squad with 131 digs on the season. Her 3.42 kills-per-set average currently ranks ninth in the league.

After getting bit by the injury bug in the last few weeks, the volleyball squad has had to call in the reinforcements in its last three matches. Freshman Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ontario), who was originally slated to redshirt the 2009 season, was called off the bench in the Knights' Conference USA-opener against Southern Miss on Friday afternoon. In her collegiate debut against the Golden Eagles, the middle blocker hit .462 with six kills and seven total blocks. At the conclusion of the weekend's Radisson-UCF Classic, the freshman averaged 1.08 blocks per set and tallied 13 kills for the Black and Gold.

The Pirates improved their record to an even 6-6 on the season Tuesday when they posted a 3-1 victory over Campbell on the road. Prior to their meeting with the Camels, ECU opened C-USA play against Marshall on Sept. 19, dropping a 3-1 decision to fall to 0-1 in league play. The Pirates are led offensively and defensively by senior Stephanie Turner, who boasts a 3.05 kills-per-set average and 85 digs heading into the weekend. Redshirt freshman Kelly Derby paces the squad with 31 total blocks, an average of 0.82 blocks per set.

The Thundering Herd enters its first full weekend of C-USA play with a 13-2 overall record and a three-match winning streak. The run began Sept. 15 when Marshall took a 3-1 win from Morehead State on the road. The Herd followed that victory with another 3-1 win over East Carolina in its C-USA opener on Sept. 18, before posting its third-consecutive 3-1 victory over West Virginia at home on Wednesday night. Marshall has three players who are averaging three-or-more kills and three-or-more digs per set heading into the weekend.

UCF faces-off with East Carolina for the 10th time in program-history Friday, with the Pirates holding a 7-2 advantage over the Black and Gold in the all-time series. The meeting with the Thundering Herd on Sunday marks the 11th meeting between the two squads, with Marshall holding an 8-2 edge over the visiting Knights.

Season tickets for the 2009 season are still available for only $30, with the Knights hosting 13 more regular-season matches at The Venue at UCF this year.

Follow the Knights (twitter.com/UCF_Volleyball) and head coach Todd Dagenais (twitter.com/ucfvbtodd) on twitter and also check out Dagenais' Notebook and the UKnighted Volleyball Blog on the Inside UCF Volleyball page at UCFAthletics.com.

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.