UCF Volleyball Drops First Match of the Season to Baylor


Sept. 10, 2010

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By Sarah Tarasewicz

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season Friday night at the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic, as it fell to visiting Baylor, 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 18-25, 14-25), in front of a rowdy crowd of 928 fans at The Venue at UCF.

With the loss, the Knights fell to 7-1 on the season, while the Bears improved to 6-4 overall.

"A team like Baylor really forces you on the edge and forces you to play perfect sometimes," head coach Todd Dagenais said following the match. "That's where I think we found ourselves tonight, is feeling like we needed to play perfectly. They had so many weapons and so many options against us. We went up there and we hit is as hard as we could and they still found ways to dig it.

"I'm not disappointed at all by the loss," Dagenais continued. "With our relative inexperience with where we are in our growth chart I think that's to be expected. There is not any disappointment in the loss. I am actually quite elated that we competed as well as we did, in terms of our attitude, our effort and our intensity. But we got beat by a better team that's what it comes down too."

Junior Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) provided the bulk of UCF's offense, totaling 19 kills on 64 attempts, while also posting seven digs, two service aces and a block solo. Sophomore Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) added 10 kills and three service aces in the contest.

"We did not give up at all tonight," Fisher said. "That just shows us where we are and where we can be, especially since we took that first set. It really shows the level that we can play at. I'm proud to say that we did not panic during sets two through four. The sense of panic did not come up and that just shows us the improvements we have made.

Switching between her usual middle blocker position and also dabbling at the outside hitter position, redshirt freshman Nichole Riedel (Denver, Colo.) tallied eight kills for the Black and Gold, with fellow middle blocker Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ont.) contributing six kills.

Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ont.) and Marie Reiterova (Luxembourg, Luxembourg) combined for 43 assists in the contest to guide the Knights' offense.

Defensively, it was Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) once again shined for the Knights, totaling a season-high 21 digs. Dani Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla.) posted a career-best 13 digs and freshman Roxy Mendez (Orlando, Fla.) also had a career-high with nine digs.

The Black and Gold was impressive in the opening set as it took an early 3-0 lead right out of the gate. Baylor pulled within one, but another run from the Knights put the squad ahead by five, 9-4. From there, the two teams played neck-and-neck, until a kill and a service ace from Vilde once again gave UCF a five-point advantage late in the set. Baylor crept within two points of the Black and Gold, 24-22, but McCutcheon put the set away with a kill in the middle.

Baylor bounced back in the second set to even the match 1-1 heading into the break, before going on to win the next two-straight to hand the Knights their first loss of the year.

UCF closes out the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic Saturday against a Jacksonville team that has started the season 3-7 following competition in Orlando and at the Big Orange Bash and the Sacred Heart University Invitational. UCF holds a 40-14 advantage in the all-time series vs. the Dolphins.

Season tickets are now available for purchase for only $30 online at UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000. The Knights are set to host 13 regular-season matches at The Venue at UCF this season, which includes 10 Conference USA contests.