Volleyball Set for Regular Season Finale in Kansas

by Jenna VanHoose
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ORLANDO - UCF volleyball will wrap up its inaugural season in the Big 12 conference on Saturday, Nov. 25 as they head to Lawrence, Kansas for a matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks with first serve set for 2 p.m. 

The Matchup

  • The matchup will be the season finale for both teams on Saturday, Nov. 25.
  • The last matchup between the Knights and Jayhawks was in the Jayhawk Classic tournament on Sept. 15, 2022, as the Black and Gold won with a 3-0 sweep as Kansas was ranked No. 23 at the time. 
  • UCF headed into the tough slate of its schedule starting with Kansas State on Saturday, Oct. 14. As the remaining opponents were ranked above UCF in the Big 12 preseason rankings. 

Scouting Kansas

  • The Jayhawks head into the matchup with a 22-5 record and are on a four-game winning streak.
  • Head coach Ray Bechard is in his 26th season with Kansas and a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year.
  • As a team, the Jayhawks are ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 for assists per set with 12.97 along with 15.70 digs per set and 13.99 kills per set.
  • Camryn Turner dishes out the assists averaging 10.62 per set, ranked No. 1 in the Big 12.

Farewell to our Seniors

  •  The Knights honored their three seniors on Saturday, Nov. 18 including Claudia Dillon, Abby Hansen and Lauren Clark.
  • This is the first class in program history where all of them came to UCF from another college.
  • Dillon (Mizzou) has spent the last three seasons at UCF where she has been a two-time AAC first team honoree.
  • Hansen (Oregon) is on her second season at UCF where last season she was named to AAC First Team and this season on the Big 12 Preseason Team.
  •  Clark (Penn State/FGCU) joined the Knights this season as a graduate transfer.

Double-Trouble Trio

  • Three Knights have recorded double-doubles this season led by Emily Wilson with eight followed by Abby Schomers with six and Avah Armour with two. 
  • Wilson and Armour each produced a double-double in the first match of the season against Navy.
  • As a setter, Schomers dished out 46 assists and 11 digs to mark her first double-double of her career against Mississippi State. 

Taking Big Steps in the Big 12

  • The Knights started out their inaugural season in the Big 12 with a 7-0 start. 
  • UCF opened Big 12 play with a familiar foe, Cincinnati, as the Knights and Bearcats moved to the Big 12 conference this season from the American Athletic Conference. 

Ace it up 

  • Currently ranked No. 8 in the NCAA for aces per set with an average of 1.98 per set.
  • Emily Wilson is ranked among the top 30 for aces per set at No. 30 with .46.
  • Against North Texas, the Knights came out strong with the serves firing a season-high 15 aces. 
  • So far this season, the Black and Gold have recorded eight games in double digits for aces.

Knight in Shining Armour 

  • Headlined by 10 matches with double digits in kills along with a career-high of 17 kills against Cincinnati (9/21).
  • Armour has recorded two double-doubles this season one in the first non-conference matchup (Navy 8/25) along with another one in the first Big 12 match (Cincinnati 9/21). 

Ace and Double-Double Queen 

  • Emily Wilson is ranked No. 1 in service aces per set (0.46) and total service aces (44) in the Big 12 standings. 
  • In the most recent matchup against Oklahoma, Wilson recorded a career-high six service aces in the 3-1 win. 
  • Wilson leads the team with eight double-doubles this season and has recorded 18 matches with double digits in kills.

Knights in the Rankings

  • UCF is ranked in four categories in the top 100 of the NCAA. 
  • 8th: 1.98  aces per set 
  • 39th: 0.258 hitting %
  • 39th: 192 team service aces
  • 94th: 0.630 match w-l %

5-0 Start

  • Headlined by a 5-0 start, head coach Jenny Maurer became the first UCF head coach in the DI Era to start the season 5-0 in their first season as head coach. 
  • Three Knights were named to the UAlbany All-Tournament Team: Abby Hansen (MVP), Abby Schomers and Avah Armour. 
  • Claudia Dillon earned the All-Tournament team for the UCF Challenge. 

The Jenny Maurer Era 

  • Jenny Maurer was named head coach of UCF volleyball in May 2023. 
  • She is no stranger to UCF as she has been a member of the coaching staff since 2016.
  • Her resume includes nine years as a Division I head coach --Lehigh (4) and Bradley (5).
  • Two-time DIII National Champion (1995 and 1996) as a player at Washington University in St. Louis. 

European Tour 

  • UCF enjoyed a successful foreign tour this summer after visiting the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy playing six matches against international opponents. 
  • Traveling from Orlando to Czech Republic, the team began its trip in Prague, walking around Old Town and the city. 
  • While in Prague, the Knights played back-to-back matches against the Czech national team.
  • A short trip to Brno, where UCF played the U22 Brno team along with touring in the downtown area. 
  • Sightseeing in Budapest featured the Buda Castle, the Parliament building and the Danube.
  • Kicking off its time in Maribor, UCF held a clinic for about 30 youth, presenting a further opportunity to get to know the local people and share some of the team’s volleyball knowledge and skills. 
  • Outside of the team’s two matches in Slovenia, the Knights rode a ski lift up part of the mountain to ride the alpine slide down the mountain and went for a bike ride to the city center of Maribor. For dinner, the team took a gondola up Pohorje Mountain on top of the mountain.
  • UCF took a pit stop in Lake Bled, Slovenia for a few hours on the way to Italy which included a gondola ride to the church in the middle of the lake, swimming and enjoying the famous Lake Bled cake. 
  • Once in Italy, the Black and Gold checked out the amenities at the resort which included multiple pools and a hot spring. The team concluded their trip in Venice with a full day of sightseeing.