ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF Volleyball team (7-5) begins conference play this weekend as they take on UConn (6-6) Friday night at 7:00 p.m. ET, followed by Temple (9-2) Sunday at noon. Both matches will be played at The Venue in Orlando, Florida, and can be streamed live via Twitch.
For Friday's match against UConn, campus garages F, D and H will be charging for parking due to a concert in the CFE Arena. Fans are encouraged to park for free in other areas on campus, including the baseball lot and E8.
DEFENDING THE CROWN
The Knights are coming off a season in which they went undefeated in conference play, going 18-0 in The American to win the conference crown, becoming just the third team in The American's history to go undefeated in conference play.
The Black and Gold were ranked as high as number 21 in the nation in the AVCA coaches' poll during last season's run and were as high as number nine in the RPI.
This year, the Knights look to defend their crown, and are off to a good start, having already taken down then No. 14 Illinois and almost upsetting then No. 7 Marquette. Through the first four weekends of play, UCF is off to a 7-5 start and lead The American in blocks per set (3.00) and are top-three in hitting percentage (.243) and assists per set (12.58).
Middle blocker Nerissa Moravec leads The American in blocks per set with 1.47, while Anne-Marie Watson sits three spots behind at 1.29. McKenna Melville is number three in the conference with 4.06 kills per set.
The Knights will be presented their 2018 conference championship rings before the Friday night match against UConn.
UConn is 6-6 to begin the 2019 season but is coming off a weekend in which they swept their competition. They are led offensively by sophomore Caylee Parker, who leads the team with 3.54 kills per set, while Genna Florig anchors the defense, posting a team-high 44 blocks to go with 29 digs. UCF is 12-1 all-time against the Huskies, with the Knights winning the past six consecutive matchups. Friday's match will mark the first of the season against the Huskies, with the second coming on the road on the last day of the regular season.
After beginning the season 9-0, Temple received their first two losses of the season last weekend, falling to Villanova (3-1) and Princeton (3-0). They are led offensively by sophomore Gem Grimshaw's 3.50 kills per set, while junior Katerina Papazogou adds 2.71 kills per frame. UCF is 8-7 all-time against Temple, with the Knights winning the last three in a row. Sunday's match will be the first of the season against the Owls, with the second face-off coming on the road on November 14.
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