UCF Looks to Run Table in AAC with One Match Remaining

  0 volleymob | November 21st, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

Courtesy: American Athletic Conference

Wednesday, Nov. 21

  • East Carolina at Cincinnati – Noon ET
  • Temple at UConn – 1 p.m. ET
  • Memphis at Tulane – 2 p.m. ET
  • SMU at Houston – 2 p.m. ET
  • USF at UCF – 7 p.m. ET
  • Tulsa at Wichita State – 8 p.m. ET

Saturday, Nov. 24

  • North Texas at Wichita State – 3 pm. ET

Each American Athletic Conference volleyball team will take on its respective travel partners on Wednesday, Nov. 21 for their final conference matches of the 2018 season. With only one match, a win for No. 21 UCF would make the Knights the third American team in six seasons to complete an undefeated conference slate, joining Louisville (2013) and Wichita State (2017).

  • UCF was listed in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for a fifth-straight week, coming in at No. 21 after extending its winning streak to 23-straight matches following another 2-0 weekend. Cincinnati and UConn joined the Knights in completing this past weekend sweeps.
  • UCF also remained in the top 10 of the NCAA’s RPI report, while the Bearcats moved up to No. 23 to remain in the top 25. Six of the league’s 12 teams hold a top-100 RPI ranking with Tulane moving up to No. 59, Tulsa at No. 73, Wichita State at No. 90 and USF at No. 99. The NCAA and NIVC selection days are slated for Sunday, November 25. Four conference teams earned postseason bids in 2017.
  • With its two wins last weekend, UCF became the 2018 outright conference champion, winning its second title in five years. UCF earned the league’s automatic qualifying spot in the NCAA Tournament, returning to the national championship for the first time since 2014. The Knights completed a perfect conference road slate, going 9-0 in conference away matches. UCF owns the eighth-best record in the NCAA with a 26-3 mark and is 17-0 against conference opponents. Its defense has prevailed, with the Knights averaging 11.4 blocks per match and holding opponents to hitting under .200 during its 23-match swing.
  • UCF freshman outside hitter McKenna Melville has had a stunning rookie year, leading the conference with 20 double-doubles, as she ranks No. 11 in the nation in kills (491) and points (546). The Knights will look to clinch a perfect conference slate on Wednesday when they play host to USF in a War on I-4 battle. The Knights outlasted the Bulls in five sets at the Corral in the two teams’ conference opener in September, as they hold a perfect 14-0 record at home this season.
  • Cincinnati sealed second place in The American’s standings following a 2-0 weekend at Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats remain undefeated inside the walls of their newly renovated home since returning there on November 2. Outside and right side hitter Jordan Thompson continues to lead the nation in kills (770) and points (851), while ranking atop the conference with a .335 hitting clip. She owns seven league records each broken this season and has fueled the Bearcats to owning one of the nation’s top offenses, ranking No. 14 with a .271 hitting percentage, as well as No. 5 in assists (1,620) and kills (1,720). The Bearcats have ECU at home this weekend to wrap up the regular season.
  • Although Tulane and Tulsa will be facing different opponents, the two squads will be battling for third place this weekend. The Green Wave owns a 24-8 overall record and is 12-5 in conference play. Tulsa is 19-10 overall and 11-6 in league play. Tulane head coach Jim Barnes collected his 400th career win with a 3-1 victory at ECU last Sunday. The Green Wave also earned one of seven automatic bids to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC), as Tulane prepares for its first postseason trip since 2009.
  • The Green Wave took Cincinnati to five sets on Friday before falling in the final frame, 15-13. Libero Kaylie McHugh ranks No. 6 in the nation with 56 service aces after setting The American’s single-season record with four aces recorded over the weekend. Tulane is 11-1 in its past 12 matches and ranks No. 7 in the nation after holding opponents to hitting .151 this season. The Green Wave is 13-2 at home and will welcome Memphis on Wednesday.
  • Tulsa bounced back from a straight-sets loss to UConn with a 3-0 win over Temple to conclude the weekend on a high note. Tulsa is the league’s leader with 17.63 digs per set, which ranks No. 18 in the nation. The Golden Hurricane will conclude its regular season on the road when it travels to Charles Koch Arena to face Wichita State in a Havoc in the Heartland series battle on Wednesday. The last time these two teams squared off, Tulsa handed the Shockers its first conference loss since joining The American in a five-set thriller, as the two teams set a conference record, combing for 80 points in the opening set (41-39).
  • The Huskies enjoyed a pair of 3-0 victories at home in their last two outings for their first weekend sweep in 2018. UConn defeated Tulsa and Wichita State, as freshman Caylee Parker averaged 4.33 kills per set with two double-doubles for her 12th and 13th of the season. Setter Emma Turner scored on 12 kills without an error, registering a .571 hitting percentage and 9.83 assists per set throughout the weekend. Libero Elizabeth Kline picked up the first 2018 conference weekly accolade for the Huskies after averaging 6.83 digs per set for a Defensive Player of the Week nod. UConn host Temple in a midweek match-up to close out the regular season.

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