Volleyball Sweeps Past SMU to Improve Conference Record to 2-0


Sept. 23, 2011

Final Stats

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By Eric DeSalvo

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team started its two-match Conference USA homestand with a crucial three-set sweep of SMU (25-17, 25-22, 25-20) Friday night inside The Venue at UCF. The Knights (10-3) are 2-0 in C-USA for the first time since 2005, and it was the first win over the Mustangs (4-9) since 2008.

"I thought it was a complete effort out there tonight," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "That's a team that we haven't a lot of success against in the past. For us to go out there and have a lot of success meant a lot to us because this particular team has never beaten SMU. It was nice to be able to check that one off list.

"We said if we want to be either No. 1 or No. 2 in the league, we have to beat No. 1 or No. 2. We beat No. 2, so that is the first step in doing it," Dagenais added.

Averaging .268 on the attack in 2011, the Knights hit that mark right on in Friday night's victory. The squad was led offensively by freshman Kayla Keller (San Antonio, Texas) and sophomore Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) who totaled 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Senior Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ontario) passed out 40 assists in the match, and also chipped in with two kills.

The defense for the Knights was suffocating once again, holding SMU to just a .090 hitting percentage. UCF was also able to out-dig the conference's best team in that category, 49-46. Junior libero Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) was all over the floor for the Knights, totaling a season-high 25 digs, which gives her 1,185 for her career.

UCF took care of business in the first set behind the strong serving of junior Tory McCutcheon (Milton, Ontario). The squad went on a 6-0 run with McCutcheon at the line to take a commanding 21-11 lead in the frame. Keller led the Knights with six kills on a .417 hitting percentage in the stanza.

In the second set, the Knights trailed by as many as four points, but rallied to tie the frame at 16. On a thunderous Angelic Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) kill, UCF took a 17-16 lead and never looked back, closing out the set, 25-22.

The third and final set saw the Knights lead from beginning to end as they took the frame 25-20. Murphy notched 10 digs in the stanza and Vukson lobbed up 13 assists. UCF out-killed the Mustangs, 18-8 in the set, and 49-28 for the match.

Next up for the Knights is a talented Tulsa team that was selected as the preseason favorites in the league. When UCF takes the floor at 1 p.m. on Sunday, it will be looking for its first win over the Golden Hurricane since 2008.

"They (Tulsa) are clearly the best team in the league," Dagenais said. "We have them at home and we are playing pretty well, so it sets up for us to give them a pretty good match. They might be better than us, but we have a chance."