Sept. 3, 2011
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By Eric DeSalvo
FORT MYERS, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - It was quite a weekend for the UCF volleyball team as it blanked Florida Gulf Coast 3-0 for its third-straight sweep of the weekend in the FGCU Homewood Suites Invitational. The Knights (5-1) were named tournament champions for their perfect record at Alico Arena.
Sophomore Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) was named tournament MVP after recording 37 kills in three matches. Also named to the all-tournament team was junior Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas) for her efforts at the libero position, and senior setter Rachel Vukson (Oakville, Ontario) who tallied 124 assists.
"Right now I sense that the team is pretty exhausted," head coach Todd Dagenais said from the road. "After playing three matches in 24 hours, the team is pretty tired. I'm sure that tomorrow we will be a little bit more rested and reflect on the weekend and be excited for what we accomplished."
Six matches into the season, Dagenais has been able to evaluate his team's progress and he likes where the squad is heading.
"I think offensively we have the capability of being in every match as long as we can put up offensively number like we did this weekend," Dagenais said. "I feel like we are a team that can adjust pretty well to different styles of play. More than anything else, we are watching the team mature. We are watching the program mature."
The Knights had a season-high four hitters in double-digits and clubbed a .424 hitting percentage. Freshman Kayla Keller (San Antonio, Texas) led the way with 14 kills and 14.5 points on a .375 attack percentage. She ended the weekend with double-digit kills in each match.
Fellow freshman Kaye-Alese Green (Jacksonville, Fla.) dominated the middle for the Knights with a career-best 10 kills. She connected on 10-of-12 shots for an .833 attack percentage and tied for the second-best hitting percentage in a match all-time with a minimum 10 attempts.
UCF continued to limit its opponents on offense, holding the Eagles to a .077 hitting percentage, including -.192 in the third frame. Leading the way on the defensive end was Murphy who totaled 13 digs, giving her 1,081 for her career and moving her into eighth all-time in the UCF record books.
The Knights return home to host the Residence Inn/UCF Invitational Friday when they host UNC Greensboro at Noon and Pittsburgh at 8 p.m. for Volley Bowl IV, and Dagenais hopes to see a growing fan base at each match.
"Hopefully something like we did this past weekend starts to generate some excitement for the program," Dagenais said. Hopefully Knight fans recognize that we are a program that is growing and developing and they want to come watch us this upcoming weekend."
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.