2022 Volleyball Season Preview

ORLANDO – In its 47th year as a program, UCF Volleyball is set to kick off the 2022 season on Friday.
The Knights remain the favorites to win the conference after receiving 10 first-place votes in the AAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. 
This season will mark head coach Todd Dagenais's 15th season with the Knights, where he has compiled a 280-157 record with five NCAA Tournament appearances.
"With the athletes we have coming through and the quality of people they are, it's just a pleasure to come to work every day with the caliber of student-athletes we're dealing with," Dagenais said. "I've gotten old here. They keep me young, energized and excited to come to work every day."
Return of the Mac
In Nov. 2021, UCF's McKenna Melville announced that she would be returning for her final year at UCF.
Melville has displayed dominance in the AAC, which allowed her to pick up several preseason awards heading into the Knights 2022 campaign.
Along with a unanimous Preseason All-Conference team selection, Melville was named the AAC Preseason Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive year. 
In her 2022 campaign, Melville led the nation in points with 701 and 617 kills.
Melville is not alone in terms of preseason greatness ahead of the 2022 season. UCF's Amber Olson and Claudia Dillon both received Preseason-All Conference Team honors. 
One Last Ride
After posting a 123-37 record in their nine years in the AAC, the Knights look to close out their time in the conference in a successful fashion. 
"We've had a target on our backs for four plus years now, and the target is still there," Melville said. "That's something we pride ourselves on."
The Knights have remained dominant in recent years by winning four straight conference titles with a combined record of 59-3 record in that time frame. 
However, the Knights look to ride into the sunset victorious by clinching a sixth and final AAC Championship before they head off into the Big 12. 
Dominance on I-4
In the 2022 season, the Knights hope to continue their dominance over in-state rival South Florida. UCF has won 18 matches in a row, last losing 2-3 in Tampa in Aug. 2012. In that 18-game stretch, the Knights have only dropped eight sets. 
The Knights have not lost a set in five straight matches. 
The Knights will host the Bulls on Oct. 19 and then will travel to Tampa on Nov. 9.
Looking Towards the Future
In the 2022 season, the Knights will match up against two of their future Big 12 in-conference opponents. 
In the Knights' first action of the 2022 season, they will host future Big-12 foe Kansas State along with Syracuse on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. From Sept. 15-17, the Knights will get a glimpse of the Big 12 atmosphere as they travel to Lawrence, Kan. for the Jayhawk Classic Tournament. UCF will take on Omaha on Sept. 15, future Big 12 opponent Kansas on Sept. 16, and they will end the tournament with a matchup against Lipscomb. 
"I scheduled those matches on purpose because I want to get just an idea of where we are athletically, where we are skill-wise and where we are going to be sliding in," Dagenais said. "We just need to figure out where we need to be to continue putting ourselves in position for being an NCAA Tournament team."
The 2022 Slate
UCF will kick off the season this weekend as it hosts the UCF Challenge.
The following weekend, UCF will remain at home to host UNC Wilmington on Sept. 9, Miami on Sept. 10, and UIC on Sept. 11 for the UCF Invitational. UCF's matchup against Miami and UIC will be its second and third 2021 NCAA Tournament matchup this season after Kansas State. 
The following weekend, the Knights will travel to Lawrence, Kan. for the Jayhawk Classic Tournament. It is here where the Knights will take on their fourth and final 2021 NCAA Tournament team with Kansas.
UCF will look to ride off into the sunset with dominance established in the AAC starting on Sept. 23 when the team will travel to Memphis. The 20-game slate, playing each conference opponent twice, will end on Nov. 25 at home against Houston.
The Black and Gold will play 15 of their 28 matches at home.
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