UCF Volleyball Cruises to 3-0 Victory in VolleyBowl IV


Sept. 9, 2011

Final Stats

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By Eric DeSalvo

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team continues to roll as it swept both UNC Greensboro and Pittsburgh for its fifth and sixth-consecutive wins Friday in the Residence Inn/UCF Invitational. The Knights (7-1) played their second match of the day against Pitt in front of 891 rowdy fans as a part of VolleyBowl IV.

UCF evened up its record to 2-2 all-time in VolleyBowl matches, and has now won 18 straight-sets on the year.

"We do these VolleyBowls to expose more people to volleyball and hopefully these people will come back and say `Hey you know what? That was kind of cool,' said head coach Todd Dagenais about the lively crowd. "We are trying to get some of these students exposed to the game so that we can build up this student section. Those who have never been to a match are missing out because it is where the action is."

Fan participation and stellar play all around aided the Knights to victory Friday night. The squad nearly hit .300 (.297), totaled 41 kills on 39 assists and out dug the Panthers (7-2), 53-36. Much of the Knights' success in the match came off of the serve as the team totaled seven service aces and had four players have service runs of four points or more.

"The studies have shown if you can get three runs of three or more points in a row, you have over a 75% chance of winning, so those runs are huge," Dagenais said. "Anyone who comes to matches will hear my yell `Runs of three' because I know you get three of those and you have a great shot at winning."

Fresh off of receiving two national player of the week awards, senior Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ontario) filled up the stat sheet once more for the Knights. The team captain collected 37 assists and 12 digs for her third double-double on the year.

The Knights came out firing in the first set behind outside hitters Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) and Kayla Keller (San Antonio, Texas). The duo combined to hit over .500 with 10 total kills, and finished the night with 13 and nine kills, respectively. UCF's stifling defense limited Pitt to a .079 attack percentage in the first frame.

The rowdy fans inside the venue helped the Knights close out the second set after the Panthers came within three points of the home team. Two errors by Pitt gave UCF the second frame as the squad swatted .342 and landed 18 kills.

UCF closed out the Panthers in the third set by holding them to only 13 points and a .029 hitting percentage. Junior Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) tallied five kills in the set and finished the night with 11.

Before the victory over Pitt, the Knights blanked UNC Greensboro to kick off the three-day tournament. UCF smacked 48 kills against the Spartans with Crump leading the team with 16.

Junior Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) tallied 12 digs against UNCG, and 13 more against Pitt, to bring her career total to 1,103 and sole possession of seventh place on the UCF all-time list.

The Knights return to action Sunday at The Venue against in-state rivals FAU (1 p.m.) and USF (7 p.m.).