UCF Volleyball Weekly Notebook

Aug. 30, 2011

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By Eric DeSalvo

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team enjoyed a successful opening weekend to the 2011 season going 2-1 in the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic. The Knights topped South Alabama in a three-set sweep, dropped a three-setter to Michigan State and rallied for a 3-1 victory over in-state rival North Florida to close out the two-day tournament.

This was the first-of-four tournaments for the Knights this season.

UCF will take its show on the road for the first time this season when it heads down to Fort Meyers for the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament featuring third-ranked Southern Cal, Furman and host Florida Gulf Coast.

Quotes from the Weekend
Junior Meredith Murphy and senior Rachel Vukson on facing tough teams early in the season
"It is the best the best kind of competition we can get to prepare for the remainder of the season," Murphy said. "Those matches are just fun to play. They are fun because of the competition and fun to go up against teams who know how to play well."

"We lost to Michigan State, but it was a great match," Vukson added. "I'd rather have a loss against a great team where we put forth a lot of effort then walk away with an easy win. That is just going to prepare us for the upcoming conference season."

Head coach Todd Dagenais on Rachel Vukson
"Having a senior setter I thought was the difference against UNF. They had two younger setters tonight and when we started pushing back I don't think they handled the pressure well as well as Rachel did down the stretch. I really think that could've been where the match was won and lost for us. Certainly Rachel's composure and ability to make critical sets at key points was important for us."

Attack! Attack!
Through the first three matches of the season, the Knights sport a .268 attack percentage while holding opponents to .108. Against South Alabama, the Knights hit .379 overall, including two sets over .400. Their match against the Ospreys saw them hit their average with a .268 outing. Sophomore Angelica Crump led the Knights in kills over the three-match slate with 45 and a .376 attack percentage. The .619 hitting average by Crump in the match against the Jaguars was a career best for the Atlanta, Ga., native.

Dig This
Junior libero Meredith Murphy eclipsed 1,000 career digs against Michigan State this past weekend. She entered the regular season with 980 for her career, and now boasts 1,035. Currently at No. 9 on the UCF all-time list, Murphy is 47 shy of Amy Gendreau's 1,082 for eighth place.

All-Tournament Team Selections
1 - Angelica Crump - Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic
1 - Rachel Vukson - Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic

Double the Fun
After posting eight double-doubles in 2010, senior setter Rachel Vukson picked up where she left off in 2010, posting a double-double against UNF last Saturday. Vukson totaled 41 assists and 10 digs against the Ospreys and also chipped in with two kills, a block assist and a service ace to round out her line for the evening. The Ontario, Canada, native wrapped up the weekend with 117 assists and 18 digs.

Up Next for UCF
The Knights will once again play a double header this weekend in the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament. Friday's matchups include an 11:30 a.m., tilt with No. 3 USC and a 5:00 p.m., matchup with Furman. UCF closes out the two-day round-robin tournament against in-state rival FGCU.

Season tickets for the 2011 season are available now for only $30, which includes 18 regular-season matches at The Venue at UCF and admission to three home tournaments. Also available for purchase this season is the UCF Gold Pass. For $75, the Gold Pass grants the avid Knights fan admission to all home volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball and track & field events.