Sept. 2, 2011
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By Eric DeSalvo
FORT MYERS, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After pulling off an enormous victory earlier in the day against No. 3 Southern California, the UCF volleyball team continued its winning ways Friday afternoon, topping Furman 3-0 in the FGCU Homewood Suites Invitational at Alico Arena. The Knights (4-1) have now won nine-straight sets dating back to last weekend's victory over North Florida.
"I thought it was really important in this match for us to win quickly," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "To come out against this Furman team that almost beat a really good Duke team and did beat a good Wisconsin team last week and have that kind of success like we did in the first set really gave us the momentum that we needed."
UCF once again outperformed its counterpart on the court and in the stat sheet. The Knights led the Paladins in every major offense category, but it was their valiant effort on the defensive end that helped lead them to victory.
"I really think it was our defense as a whole that really stepped up and executed when they needed to with our blocking and backcourt defense," Dagenais said. "I thought our offense was adequate, but it is tough to come off of the emotional high that we had this morning.
The Knights showed no let down from their earlier victory once they hit the floor, taking the first frame, 25-14. UCF totaled 14 kills and never trailed from the beginning.
The second and third sets saw the Knights continue to out hit their counterparts as junior Tory McCutheon (Milton, Ontario) and sophomore Nichole Riedel (Denver, Colo.) owned the middle with 12 combined kills and were the only Knights to record an attack percentage over .300.
Both sophomore Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) and freshman Kayla Keller (San Antonio, Texas) recorded double digit kills for the Knights, and senior Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ontario) dished out 37 assists.
After collecting her 1,000th career dig last weekend, junior Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) totaled 33 digs on Friday, inching her closer to No. 8 on the all-time dig list at UCF. The upperclassmen who has 1,068 career digs also chipped in with three assists and a service ace against the Paladins.
UCF closes out its weekend in Fort Myers with a matchup against host FGCU Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The two teams currently own a win apiece in the series with the Knights most recently sweeping the Eagles in last year's tournament.
"We know that they are athletic and young, but young teams are very dangerous because a lot of times they play without worry and care and without pas histories in mind," Dagenais said. "Florida Gulf Coast is always a tough place to play. They have a lot of fans and we know that they are extremely well coached. We have to put ourselves in the same position."
Season tickets for the 2011 season are available now for only $30, which includes 18 regular-season matches at The Venue at UCF and admission to three home tournaments. Also available for purchase this season is the UCF Gold Pass. For $75, the Gold Pass grants the avid Knights fan admission to all home volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball and track & field events.