Volleyball Starts Tenure in The American with VolleyBowl VI

Sept. 26, 2013

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By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team will look to get its inaugural run in the American Athletic Conference started on the right foot after a successful non-conference slate as it returns home for VolleyBowl VI. The Knights (9-4) will host in-state rival USF (6-8) Friday night at 8 p.m. in the sixth installment of VolleyBowl with the first 1,000 students in the door receiving an Early Entry Pass ticket to the UCF-South Carolina Football Game on Sept. 28.

UCF, which is 2-3 all-time in VolleyBowl events, is looking for another large crowd as the last four editions of VolleyBowl have produced four of the highest attended volleyball matches in school history with a combined 4,569 fans out supporting the four events. The last time the Knights hosted USF in a VolleyBowl contest in 2009, the school attendance mark was set with 1,603 on hand.

"It's hard to believe its VolleyBowl VI already," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "The energy is palpable around campus. Between football, us and women's soccer, it's a great weekend to be a fan of the Knights and be in attendance. When our players come into the gym and it's full of students doing the cheers and the chants it really creates a wonderful environment. We're expecting a great crowd that's going to make it real tough for the Bulls to come in and play."

Offensively, the Knights come into VolleyBowl VI with the top ranked offense in the league, hitting .277 as a team and topping second-place SMU by 4.4%. Standing out are a number of elite individual performances throughout the squad.  Offensively, the duo of junior DeLaina Sarden and senior Angelica Crump has been spectacular. Sarden leads The American, and ranks ninth in the nation, with a .454 hitting percentage, while Crump is seventh in the league at .274. Conversely, it is Crump that leads the conference with 3.94 kills per set, while Sarden is just behind her in fourth with 3.52. Not to be outdone, setter Marie Reiterova deserves a lot of the credit for creating opportunities for the two, as she leads The American with 11.60 assists per set.

The Black and Gold's offense will be tested by a stingy Bulls defense. Although USF sits under .500, they have a talented roster that includes sophomore outside hitter Erin Fairs who ranks third in the conference in digs with 4.32 per set and senior middle blocker Andrea Rodriguez Gomez who leads The American with 65 total blocks.

The 1000 Early Entry passes being given out will serve as an early entry option for the South Carolina game but will NOT guarantee admission. UCF Athletics will open Gate 6 at Bright House Networks Stadium at 9:30 a.m. for Early Entry Pass holders. A valid student ID must be presented along with the Early Entry Pass. Students with Early Entry passes will be the only students who will be allowed entry into the stadium from 9:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. At 10 a.m., all student gates open and standard student-entry policies will take effect.

UCF Athletics will distribute vouchers starting one hour (7 p.m.) before match time to the first 1,000 students at the match. Students will redeem those vouchers for Early Entry Passes at the end of the match. The vouchers and tickets will be distributed at Gate 2, at the southeast corner of The Venue on East Plaza Drive.



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