UCF Volleyball Sweeps East Carolina in Conference USA Action


Oct. 23, 2009

Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Behind 18 kills from sophomore Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.), the UCF volleyball team swept Conference USA-foe East Carolina in straight sets (25-13, 33-31, 31-29) Friday night at The Venue at UCF to improve to 11-12 on the season and 3-7 in league play.

Aside from Fisher, the Knights also got double-digit kills from junior Lauren Williams (Lake Mary, Fla.), who posted a season-high 12 kills, while hitting .458 and adding three blocks. Sara Rex (Oldsmar, Fla.) and Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) contributed seven and six kills, respectively, for the UCF offense, while Andee Youngblood (Castle Rock, Colo.) guided the squad with 33 assists.

Defensively, freshman Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) totaled a match-best 21 digs and added a career-high six assists. Youngblood followed behind with nine digs and two blocks, while Fisher and Kristen Petrasic (Carrollton, Texas) each registering eight digs. Katie Riley (Merritt Island, Fla.) would also add two critical blocks for UCF.

"One of the things we talked about at the end of practice yesterday was that there was going to be a critical point where we would switch to a 6-2 offense and bring Katie Riley off the bench to give East Carolina a look they hadn't seen yet," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "That happened at that critical junction in the third set, and sure enough, Katie Riley went out there and got two blocks and a couple quality swings that put them on the defensive. I'm really pleased and happy she could be rewarded with the opportunity to go there and change the complexion of the game and, ultimately, the match. I am really proud of her for that."

The Knights took advantage of 17 errors by the Pirates to steal an easy 25-13 victory in the opening set. Williams paced the Black and Gold with a .600 hitting percentage and three kills in the set, while Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ontario) and Rex each added two kills apiece. UCF led by as many as 13 points near the end of the contest and by at least 10 points 20 different times throughout the set.

East Carolina recouped in the following set, as the two teams waged an epic battle against one another. After falling down, 6-3, early in the contest, UCF fought back to even the set behind a kill and a block assist from Youngblood, 6-6. From that point on, the squads evened the score 16 times and traded the lead five times, before three-straight kills from Fisher finally put the set away for the Knights, 33-31. As a team, the Black and Gold hit .300 in the contest, its highest attack percentage of the evening, and posted 25 kills. Fisher led the attack with 10 kills, while Williams hit a team-high .545 with six kills in the set. Murphy added the majority of her digs in the second set, grinding out 12 for the home team.

The third set proved to be just as tough as the preceding one, as the squads once again took the set to 60 total points. Again, the Knights fell down early, as the Pirates went on a 5-0 run to kick off the contest. The spread proved to be crucial for the home team as it continued to trail through the first 39 points. Dagenais then pulled Riley off of the bench and gave her one job to do, and that was to block. Riley did just that as she posted two critical blocks and forced ECU to make five attack errors. With that, UCF evened the set for the first time, 22-22, and would go on to tie the game nine more times before taking the set and the match, 31-29, on a kill from Fisher and a service ace from Youngblood.

"Getting those two blocks felt great," Riley said. "I went in there knowing my role was to block. That is what I focused on and I knew that was my role. Getting that first block off the bat was awesome. Blocking is the greatest feeling in the world."

The Black and Gold continues its four-match homestand Saturday vs. Marshall at 7 p.m at The Venue at UCF.

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