Knights Meet with the Media

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – The No. 13 seeded UCF volleyball team held its final practice before the First Round of the 2018 NCAA Volleyball Tournament against FGCU on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Head coach Todd Dagenais, libero Jordan Pingel and outside McKenna Melville met with the local media prior to the start. Here a few excerpts from the press conference.

 Head Coach Todd Dagenais
On facing FGCU for the third time…
I feel like they've gotten a lot better. I thought they got better from the first time to the second time we played them. And now, watching them on film, I think they are a lot more consistent now than what they were back then. Every team that makes it this far has matured in some way. There's a reason why they went through and they won their conference and they just continue to be lower error and more consistent. I think they're a much better team now just to be on the stage.

On the difficulty of the group…
I don't know how you quantify that. I think that if you just look at it and you see four top-50 teams all in one sub regional. I think that pretty much qualifies as the pool of death right there. You know if you look at it from World Cup terms. I don't know of another pod that has four top-50 teams in one area. You've got to beat them all if you want to move on anyway.We're looking forward to the competition. I think any one of the teams in this sub can come out of here and go far in this tournament.

On if the team is peaking at the right time…
I'm not a big believer in that. I think we've really tried to maintain a steady growth mindset as the year has gone on, because we have so many younger players, and we just had to kind of keep things very steady very predictable so they can get into a routine. I know they'll probably tell you they don't always like that but everything has been very regimented very predictable, very normal. So rather we’re home or on the road, they know exactly what to expect. In terms of peaking I don't know that we've even come close to peaking.

On his appreciation to the administration…
I want to express my thanks as we started climbing up the RPI, our sports supervisor Brad Stricklin really took the initiative to try to host and try to make things happen. I think with the support of our athletic department when it looked like we had a possibility of hosting they mobilized weeks ago to make this happen. We as a program and as a team are very thankful to have an administration behind us. 

Senior Libero Jordan Pingel
On the importance of playing at home…
I think it's really important. Knight nation does an awesome job of coming and supporting us. I think our home court advantage is huge for us. We are undefeated at home, and I think that it's just a really special place for us to play.

On the support of Knight Nation…
We just have a lot of support behind us. I think it's awesome for our brand to keep pushing ahead and for the success of our team. It just brings a lot of publicity to our school. I don't feel too much pressure. I think it's more just excitement like having the hometown team come and support you going. I like it. 

Freshman Outside McKenna Melville
On reaching the NCAA Tournament as a freshman…
It's kind of new for all of us. It's just taking what we have right now and riding with it, not just this year, but for the next four years helping everyone who comes out. Knowing that this is where we're going. This is our goal.

On the success of the block…
I think the front line sets up everything. The block is huge. I think that's almost an offensive threat for us, because the defense can easily play that ball up in order to set our outsides and middle to get us all going.

Follow UCF Volleyball on social media on Facebook (/UCF.Volleyball), Twitter (UCF_Volleyball) and Instagram (UCF.Volleyball). 

Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news.