UCF Volleyball Wins Second-Straight Fiesta on Siesta Key Beach Volleyball Crown

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By Sarah Tarasewicz

SIESTA KEY, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the second-straight season, the UCF volleyball team captured the team crown at the Fiesta on Siesta Key Beach Volleyball Tournament Saturday on Siesta Key Beach. The Knights finished the event with 265 team points to defeat Miami and Webber International, who tied for second place with 262 team points.

"I can't convey how proud I am of all twelve of the women that played this weekend," UCF's beach volleyball head coach Erik Peterson said. "It was a rough week of practice and every single one of them pushed each other to the limit. It was some of the most competitive games I have seen out here and our finish this weekend is a direct reflection to how hard they trained in practice."

UCF had six beach pairs competing in the 86-pair tournament, with the teams of Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ont.) and Marie Reiterova (Luxembourg, Luxembourg) and Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ont.) and Kayla Keller (San Antonio, Texas) tying for fifth place in the Gold Division standings for the Knights' best finish.

Also competing in the Gold Division for the Black and Gold were Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) and Katie Clinger, who tied for ninth place, and Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) and Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) who finished the event tied for 17th place.

Dani Harrison (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Nichole Riedel (Denver, Colo.) tied for third place in the Silver Division standings, while Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) and Kaye-Alese Green (Jacksonville, Fla.) tied for third place in the Copper Division standings.

"I think we were really able to go out and execute a lot of what we worked on in practice this week," Peterson said. "The players did a great job of establishing their offense with hard swings and were then able to mix in shots to score points. We talked a lot about how the wind was going to affect the game play, so we really made good adjustments to our first and second contacts and were able to use the elements to our advantage."

Last season, UCF totaled 186 team points to edge in-state rival USF by 5.5 points to claim the team cup at the Fiesta on Siesta Key Beach Volleyball Tournament.

In the fall, the Black and Gold posted its best record since 2003 with a 16-16 overall mark and also tallied a program-best nine wins in Conference USA action and have high expectations for its spring season heading into the 2011 fall campaign.

After three seasons of being the league's youngest and most inexperienced team in terms of matches started per player, the Knights look to return up to six of their seven starters from last season's team, including Vukson, middle blockers Riedel and McCutcheon, outside hitter Crump, right side hitter Vilde and libero Murphy.

Fiesta on Siesta Key Beach Volleyball Tournament Results
Team Results
1st - UCF - 265 pts
T2nd - Miami - 262 pts
T2nd - Webber International - 262 pts
3rd - Jacksonville - 256 pts
4th - St Pete College - 254 pts
5th - Florida - 251 pts
6th - North Florida - 249 pts
7th - State College of Florida - 245 pts
8th - Lake Sumter Community College - 232 pts

Individual Results
Gold Division
T5th - Tory McCutcheon & Marie Reiterova
T5th - Rachel Vukson & Kayla Keller
T9th - Kristin Fisher & Katie Clinger
T17th - Evija Vilde & Meredith Murphy

Silver Division
T3rd - Dani Harrison & Nichole Riedel

Copper Division
T3rd - Angelica Crump & Kaye-Alese Green