Newcomers Shine in First Spring Weekend

March 23, 2010

by Erin Campbell

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - In the first tournament of their non-competitive volleyball season, the UCF volleyball was finally able to utilize all the skills that they have been fine tuning in their play day Saturday against USF and Marquette.

The morning consisted of the Black and Gold playing USF in many situational drills, including a 12-15 drill where both teams worked on coming back from behind, and a 20-20 drill that focused on closing out games.

"I was very excited to see how well we competed in these situational games that replicate high pressure situations," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "Even though it showed that we need to work on our consistency at crunch time, overall we were pleasantly surprised by the results on the scoreboard."

After a much needed rest from the morning, the squad headed back to the Venue to finish up the day with a five-set match against the Golden Eagles.

The Knights lost the first set, 23-25, but battled back in the second and got a 25-18 win. In the third set, Marquette came back strong and took the close set, 27-25. The secondary squad was able to see the court for the UCF in the fourth but could not take the set and lost a close 23-25 battle. Marquette took the 15 point fifth set to close out the day.

"Marquette is such a physically imposing Big East team," continued Dagenais. "Their front row averaged nearly 6'3" and played very high above the net. I was pleased with how we controlled their offense with our serve, but we learned how important it is to play with full extension and with power because kills were hard to come by against that size."

The Black and Gold offense was firing at all facets. Marie Reitrova (Rokycany, CZE) ran the offensive attack for the weekend and led the team to a .240 hitting percentage assisting 10 more kills than Marquette.

Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) did everything the Knights needed and will only continue to improve over this spring season. The freshman was solid in the front row tallying 20 kills and posting an impressive .333 hitting percentage against athletic Golden Eagles. Adding to the offensive threat was senior Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.), who posted another 20 kills for UCF and hit an above average hitting percentage of .261.

Leading the defense for the Black and Gold was Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ontario), who denied four Marquette attacks, and Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) who led the back row with 17 digs.

UCF practices all week in preparation for its 10 team tournament Sunday that is set to start at 9:00 am. A detailed release for the weekend will be available Thursday on the volleyball home page.

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.