Aug 21, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team was selected to finish second in the American Athletic Conference volleyball preseason poll, the league announced Wednesday. The Knights also received two first-place votes. The league's 10 head coaches determined the preseason standings and 12-player preseason team.
"Preseason accolades like this generate buzz and that is what we need," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "We need people to understand how hard this program has worked and where this program is trying to go and to be honored by our peers in the conference preseason poll is nice. It's flattering to be second and it's flattering to get two first-place votes, but the reality is that conference begins for us with USF in September. We're thankful that people think we're a quality volleyball team, but now it's on us to prove it and live up to our own expectations."
Junior Delaina Sarden and senior Angelica Crump were honored by the coaches as they were named to the All-American Athletic Conference Preseason Team. Sarden was one of six unanimous preseason selections.
Sarden, UCF's top middle blocker, earned AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors after finishing her sophomore campaign with 269 kills, 127 combined blocks and a .352 attack percentage, a figure that placed top 50 in the nation. Crump has been a mainstay of the Knights' offensive attack throughout her three-year career as she holds 1094 career kills in 335 sets played.
"I think both DeLaina and Angelica are legitimate all-conference and even All-American candidates," Dagenais said. "I've never seen Angelica as focused and precise as she is right now. She has the ability to go out and put up tremendous numbers for an outside hitter and carry our two-hitter rotations which is what you expect your L-1 to do. DeLaina just keeps getting better and better. The best thing for her was being named to the USA A2 Collegiate National Team this summer where she got to compete alongside the best college players in the country. It was a big confidence boost for her to realize she isn't far behind the elite players in the country and is actually ahead of other players that receive big accolades. She's going to be really difficult to stop. The neat thing for us is that if teams focus on DeLaina, then Angelica and the rest of our outside hitters are going to have opportunities to score a lot of points."
The excitement surrounding the 2013 volleyball season continues to intensify as the squad will wrap up its preseason camp with its second Black and Gold scrimmage on Aug. 24 at The Venue at UCF. The regular season will kick off in eight days against Valparaiso in the opening match of the UCF Invitational.
2013 American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
|School (First Place Votes)
|1. Louisville (7)
|2. UCF (2)
|3. UConn (1)
2013 American Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason Awards
Preseason Co-Players of the Year: Brooke Mattingly, Louisville, Sr., MB Emily Juhl, Louisville, Sr., OH
All- American Athletic Conference Preseason Team
Emmi MacIntyre, Cincinnati, Sr., DS
Emily Howard, Houston, So., MB
* Emily Juhl, Louisville, Sr., OH
Hannah Kvittle, Louisville, Sr., S
* Brooke Mattingly, Louisville, Sr., MB
* Caitlin Welch, Louisville, Sr., DS/L
Maddie Lozano, SMU, Sr., MB
* Caroline Young, SMU, Jr., OH
Gabriella Matautia, Temple, Sr., RS
Angelica Crump, UCF, Sr., OH
* Delaina Sarden, UCF, Jr., MB
* Erin Fairs, USF. So., OH
* - unanimous selection