Knights Prepare for Temple, UConn

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UCF vs. Temple
Thursday, Nov. 14 | 7:00 PM
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UCF vs. UConn
Saturday, Nov. 16 | 12:00 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla. - The UCF Volleyball team (19-7, 12-2) will finish the regular season off on the road this weekend as they will face off against Temple (11-14, 2-12) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Thursday at 7:00 PM before taking on UConn (11-5, 5-9) in Storrs, Connecticut Saturday at 12:00 PM. The Knights have played both teams this season, sweeping both matches 3-0 at The Venue.
UCF is coming off of a tough loss to Cincinnati this past Sunday, snapping a 10-game winning streak. The team is looking to bounce back and finish the season strong to build momentum going into the postseason. The Knights have won 12 of their last 14 matches and 12 of their 19 wins this season have occurred in straight sets, including their most recent win against ECU last Friday.
McKenna Melville excelled last weekend, helping to lead the Knights to a sweep over ECU. Melville had 38 kills and 5.43 kills per a set on the weekend, putting her second in the American. She also had 28 total digs and 4.00 digs per set to go along with two double doubles, bringing her season total to 17. She was named The American Athletic Conference offensive Player of the Week for her weekend performance.
In the latest RPI, UCF is up one spot from last week as they climb to 27 overall. The Black and Gold already have two wins over top-40 teams as well as three wins over top-50 teams. Last season, UCF was ranked as high as ninth in the RPI.
The Knights head into the weekend coming off of a 1-1 weekend that saw them sweep ECU and fall 3-1 against the top team in the conference, Cincinnati. They maintain their lead in The American in blocks per set (2.94), a statistic they have led the league in for most of the year. They are also top-three in hitting percentage (.275), assists per set (13.24) and kills per set (14.03).
"We're looking at the remainder of this season as a tournament. We're treating every match as if it's a one and done situation," said UCF Volleyball Head Coach Todd Dagenais, "We know how well we have to perform down the stretch to either win a conference championship and get an automatic bid by winning the tournament or to get in that large bid which would be the first in our history. Both of these matches on the road present each of their own challenges.
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The Knights kick-off their away trip by taking on Temple Thursday night at 7:00 pm. Temple is 11-14 on the season and 2-12 in conference play so far. The Owls are 5-4 at home this season, and in the Knights previous match up against the Owls, UCF swept Temple, 3-0. UCF is 8-6 all-time against Temple.
The Knights will wrap up their road trip and regular season against with a Saturday afternoon match against the Huskies. UCONN is 11-15 this season and 5-9 in conference play. The Huskies are led offensively by Courtney Morris, who is fifth in the conference in assists, averaging 8.47 assists per set. UCONN is ranked fourth, above fifth place UCF, in the conference in Opponent Hitting Percentage with .195. UCF is 12-1 all-time against the Huskies, winning their last meeting 3-0.
[On Facing Temple]
"Temple is going to be very difficult to prepare for due to the number of players they have playing in different positions at different times. It's going to be a match where we really have to concentrate on what we're doing and trying our best to stay with them as they make their changes. Temple is always a tough place to play and even though we've had success there, it's never been easy."
[On Facing Uconn]
"I think UConn has been one of the hotter teams as the season has come along. They figured out who they are. They figured out what they do well, and they do it often. They pushed Cincinnati to the brink. They've had some big wins and it's a much different team than we played earlier this year. Closing out the season with that kind of challenge in their gym is going to be a tough order. But we know we have goals; we know where we want to go and we're going into both situations with the mentality of doing what it takes to further our agenda."
Continue to follow UCF Volleyball on Facebook (/UCF.Volleyball), Twitter (@UCF_Volleyball) and Instagram (@UCF.Volleyball) for the latest on the UCF volleyball team.

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