ORLANDO, Fla. – The UCF volleyball team aims to build off a historic 2020 campaign, announcing its 2021 schedule on Tuesday afternoon. The 32-match slate features 16 home matches at The Venue, which will be back at full capacity this season.
You can view the full 2021 volleyball schedule here.
"This year we decided to swing for the fences when it came to scheduling," said head coach Todd Dagenais, "We have a high-quality, championship-caliber team that needs to be tested and needs to be prepared for the rigors of defending our title.
"This is by far the most difficult schedule we have ever tried to put together and while it's going to provide us with some very difficult challenges in terms of opponents, it's also going to go a long way in building the necessary RPI that we need to be recognized as one of the top volleyball teams in the nation," said Dagenais.
The Knights return the core of their 2020 American Athletic Conference Championship team, with reigning AAC Player of the Year McKenna Melville and all-conference honorees Anne-Marie Watson and Nerissa Moravec all set to suit back up in the Black and Gold again this season.
The squad will be bolstered by four newcomers ready to make their debut, including transfer Claudia Dillon from Missouri and rookies Heidi Bonde, Katelyn Grimes, and Maddie Kinney.
After earning its third consecutive American Athletic Conference title and NCAA Tournament Appearance, UCF enters its 14th season under head coach Todd Dagenais, who ranks first in program history with 253 victories as head coach.
"We return an experienced team, a team that has won three championships in a row," said Dagenais, "We want to repeat as champions for the fourth time, be in the top-25 RPI in the country and earn one of the top-16 host-team seeds in the NCAA tournament. But with all those goals in mind, it depends on the effort of the student-athletes, the cohesion, our ability to stay healthy, and how close we can be as a team, and all the ingredients are there to have a memorable season.
"Our fans, the band, and family in attendance means everything to our student-athletes, so to have The Venue packed again is going to be a wonderful return to normal for us. We have one of the best home-court advantages in the country and we are ready to have a full building again."
BY THE NUMBERS
- 16 home matches
- 20 conference matches
- 7 matches against Florida programs
- 2 matches against 2020-21 NCAA Tournament teams
- 3 Wednesday night matches
UCF CHALLENGE (Aug. 27-28)
The Knights open play at The Venue in their first of two home tournaments. UCF will welcome Georgia Tech, St. John's, and Penn State.
- UCF will face Penn State for the first time in program history
- The Knights will look to even its all-time series with Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets lead 2-3
- The match-up against St. John's will be the first since 1999
SOUTH CAROLINA TOURNAMENT (Sep. 2-3)
- UCF will face Clemson for the first time since 2013
- The Knights look to take the lead in its all-time series with South Carolina which is tied 8-8
UCF INVITATIONAL (Sep. 9-11)
- The Knights will look to hold their lead in its all-time series with Georgia as UCF leads 6-5
- UCF trails the all-time series against FSU, but took the Seminoles out of the 2019 NCAA Tournament
- FGCU won the last match-up in 2019, but UCF still leads the all-time series 5-3
SUNSHINE CLASSIC TOURNAMENT (Sep. 16-17)
UCF will head to Boca Raton to face Florida foes Miami, FGCU, and host team FAU
- UCF hopes to take the lead in the all-time series with Miami at 8-8
- The Knights dominate the series, 33-9, over FAU
WAR ON 1-4 (at South Florida, Oct. 13 – vs. South Florida, Nov. 17)
The Knights will face South Florida twice during the American Athletic Conference play. South Florida holds the series lead, 45-38, but the Knights hold a16-game winning streak and have not lost a game against the Bulls since 2012.
IN THE AMERICAN
The Knights are hot off their third consecutive conference title and look to win their fourth championship after going head-to-head with each team in the conference twice this season in conference play.
In the 2020 season, UCF was undefeated against conference teams after sweeping Tulane, Temple, ECU, Cincinnati, and South Florida. Due to the shortened season, the Knights did not see five AAC teams, but grabbed wins against all five in 2019.
UCF leads the all-time series against ECU, Cincinnati, Memphis, Temple and Tulane and looks to take the lead in its series against Houston, 12-12, and Wichita State, 2-2. The Knights only trail SMU, 9-13, Tulsa, 8-12, and South Florida, 38-45.
Fans excited to be back in The Venue for the upcoming 2021 UCF volleyball season can purchase season tickets and single-game tickets online here.
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