UCF Volleyball Falters in Four-Set Match against Tulsa


Nov. 6, 2009

Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Both Erin Campbell (Kansas City, Mo.) and Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) posted double-doubles Friday night, but it was not enough as the UCF volleyball team suffered a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 21-25, 18-25) defeat at the hands of Tulsa in Conference USA action at The Venue at UCF.

"I don't think there is any doubt in my mind that this was the best team that we have played all year," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "That team is just an offensive juggernaut. We did everything we could to slow them down. We were able to slow them down enough, but not enough to win."

Campbell paced the Knights with 15 kills and added 10 digs and three blocks, with Fisher accounting for 12 kills, 13 digs and four blocks.

"I thought our coaches put together an outstanding game plan of how we were going to defend and attack them. For the most part we were able to execute that game plan very well. This was the best that we have played all year. I think the balance in our offense was something we have been striving for all year and we achieved it. Not only could I not be more proud of our effort, but I couldn't be more proud of our execution for the better part of this match."

Middle blocker Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ontario) and outside hitter Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) also registered double-digit kills for the home team, with 10 and 11 kills, respectively. McCutcheon hit a team-best .400 and tallied three blocks, while Vilde recorded two additional blocks on the night.

"The timing work with the middles and the setters is starting to pay off," Dagenais said. "All the work that Michelle (Chatman) has done in training the middles is starting to pay off. This is about the right time for a freshman middle to shine and Tory has been for the past two weeks. We are expecting big things out of her."

Contributing big numbers on both sides of the net, fellow middle blocker Lauren Williams (Lake Mary, Fla.) hit .312 with nine kills and a team-high seven blocks, while setter Andee Youngblood (Castle Rock, Colo.) guided the Black and Gold offense with a match-high 52 assists and added three blocks.

"Andee's setting decisions tonight were the best that they have been all year," Dagenais added. "She was really, really in charge of the offense. She knew exactly what we wanted to do and how we had to do it. She had a complete grasp of the game plan and it showed. She set just an amazing match tonight."

Libero Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) continued her streak of double-digit digs to six matches after totaling a team-best 19 digs.

After falling in the opening set, the Knights bounced back to take the second set, 25-23. In that contest, UCF outhit the Golden Hurricane .390 to .318, out-blocked the visiting squad, 4-1 and only committed two attack errors. UCF and Tulsa evened the score eight different times in set No. 2, which included a 23-23 deadlock late in the game. Back-to-back kills from Fisher, who totaled four kills in the set, gave the Black and Gold the victory and evened the match, 1-1.

UCF carried its momentum into the third set, taking an early 11-4 lead on the Golden Hurricane, behind three kills from Vilde and two each from McCutcheon and Campbell. But, Tulsa fought its way back into the contest and tied the score, 16-16, following a 12-5 run. The Knights managed to hang on through the next four points, but after an 18-18 tie, a 7-3 run from the visiting squad put the set away and put the Knights behind, 1-2.

The fourth and final set proved to almost mirror the third, with UCF taking an early 14-8 lead, before allowing Tulsa to creep its way back into the game and eventually secure the win.

The Knights host their final home match of the season Sunday against SMU at 1 p.m. on Bright House Sports Network. The match also serves as Senior Day for Campbell, Youngblood and Williams and will be aired on tape delay beginning at 7 p.m.

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