UCF Volleyball Defeats Memphis in Straight Sets


Oct. 24, 2010

Box Score

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By Sarah Tarasewicz

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team tallied 16.0 total team blocks, which included a match-best six blocks from Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ont.), on its way to a straight-sets victory, 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-22), over visiting Memphis in Conference USA action Sunday afternoon at The Venue at UCF.

"I don't care what the stats say, today we are celebrating a great win," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "I don't care what led to the win, we are celebrating a great win. There has been a lot of times in the last two years that I felt we had physically beaten up on teams yet lost, and I am pretty sure that Memphis feels like that. I sure liked how our players competed and I sure liked how clutch we were when it really mattered. We made some really nice plays and today, when it mattered the most, we were pretty good and that's what mattered."

The win improved the Knights' record to 12-10 on the season and 5-5 in league play, while also extending their winning streak to three matches. The team's 12 overall victories in 2010 match its win total from last season, while its five conference wins are its most since 2008 when it recorded a 6-10 C-USA mark.

Along with McCutcheon, five additional Knights had three or more blocks against the Tigers. Redshirt freshman Nichole Riedel (Denver, Colo.) and junior Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ont.) posted five blocks apiece, while Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.), Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) and Sara Rex (Oldsmar, Fla.) each tallied three blocks.

"We have been winning all of our matches lately in five sets and it was good to see that we were able to win this one in three," Crump said. "One of our goals was to be dominate from the beginning of the match and I think we accomplished that today."

The 16.0 total team blocks in the contest matched the No. 10 spot on the UCF single-match register and was the most blocks the team has tallied since registering 18.0 on the road at Tulsa in 2008.

"I thought that our blocking was outstanding," Dagenais said. "We felt like we had a chance to have a good blocking weekend, we worked on it all week, and we did that. You look at the number of hitting errors that Memphis had and all but seven of them were because of our blocks. They made have had a lot of errors, but we sure created a lot of those errors with our blocking."

Offensively, Fisher and sophomore Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) led the Knights with eight kills apiece, while Riedel pitched in a .857 performance with six kills.

Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) led UCF with 14 digs, with Fisher adding nine and Vukson and Dani Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla.) each posting seven.

The Knights and the Tigers were even in the opening two sets, with the score being decided by two points and each ending in a UCF win on service aces from McCutcheon.

The sophomore paced the Knights with a career-best three service aces vs. Memphis, while the Black and Gold also received two service aces each from Vukson and Vilde.

In the first set, Memphis held the advantage through most of the opening 21 points, before a kill from McCutcheon and an error by the Tigers gave the Black and Gold their first lead of the set. After a pair of ties, the home team rattled off a 6-2 run to take a four-point lead. The visitors fought their way back into the set, however, to even the score at 20-20. The two squads would tie three more times before a kill from Fisher and McCutcheon's service ace gave the home team a 1-0 advantage.

The second set was just as closely matched as the first, as there were 12 tie scores and eight lead changes, with the biggest lead either team had in the contest being four points. Following eight different ties to open the set, the Tigers took the lead and held the advantage for 20 points. A kill and a service ace from Vilde closed the gap and brought the Black and Gold back it, before two blocks and another service ace from Vilde put the Knights ahead by three points, 21-18. Memphis would not go away easily, however, as the squad rallied back to once again even the contest. A back and forth battle broke out, but it was UCF who once again came out on top in the same fashion as it won the first, with a kill from Fisher and a service ace by McCutcheon.

Once again, Memphis was able to jump out to an early lead over the home team, which included a five-point advantage at 11-6, but the error bug bit the Tigers at the midway point to let the Knights back in. With the score even at 16-16, Memphis and UCF played each other to the best of their abilities, which resulted in nine tie scores through the next 12 points. But, three huge blocks and a service ace from Rex allowed the Black and Gold to secure the victory and the C-USA sweep.

"We needed a change of tempo in the middle as we got down the stretch," Dagenais said. "We needed to have some attacking and needed to have a little bit of a change of energy on the floor. Sara has been waiting all year to be able to influence a match and she influenced that third set like nobody else did. She came in and immediately turned the energy around in that third set. She had a kill right away, then a couple of blocks, a great swing and then another block. She had as productive of a rotation as she has had all year and we needed it. It just goes to prove that everybody on our team is valuable and you never know what they will bring to the floor, and Sara brought it."

The Knights hit the road for a pair of league matches at SMU and Tulsa next weekend, with both teams sitting atop the standings in C-USA.

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.