PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 3, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team continues its 2013 American Athletic Conference slate this weekend, as the Scarlet Knights hit the road to face off against Florida schools, USF and UCF. RU will meet the Bulls on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at the USF Corral before taking the short trip to Orlando just two days later to battle the Knights on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.
Rutgers (4-12, 0-2 AAC) most recently welcomed Houston and SMU “To the Banks” this past Friday and Sunday, respectively, in its first weekend homestand of the year. The Scarlet Knights were swept in straight sets by the Cougars (21-25, 24-26, 15-25) and fell to the Mustangs in four sets (25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 15-25).
Sophomore outside hitter Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) led the way with 20 kills and 16 digs over the two games. Classmate Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) paced the defense with 33 digs.
RU’s matchup against its former BIG EAST rival will be the 12th time the two teams face off in program history. The Scarlet Knights hold a slight 6-5 edge in the series, but have lost the last two meetings. Last year, the Bulls picked up a four-set win at the College Ave. Gym.
The Bulls enter Friday’s match with 6-9 overall record and a 0-1 mark in league play. In the team’s last time on the court, USF dropped its conference opener to UCF in straight-sets (22-25, 22-25, 23-25) on Friday, Sept. 27 in Orlando, Fla. USF has dropped four of its last five matches, with the team’s lone win during the stretch coming against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 21 (25-15, 26-24, 20-25, 25-17) to conclude the Wildcat Classic in Chicago, Ill.
USF leads The American in total blocks with 141 total rejections to average 2.52 blocks/set. The Bulls are also second in the league in digs with 16.38/set.
Sophomore outside hitter Erin Fairs leads the Bulls in both kills (189) and digs (243), while rookie libero Amy Van Sant is second on the team in digs, having recorded 206 on the year. Fairs’ 4.34 digs/set is good for fourth in the AAC. Senior middle blocker Andrea Gomez-Rodriguez leads the AAC in blocks with 1.25 rejections/set, while teammate Jennica Mullins is right behind her in third with 1.11/set.
Sunday’s match against the Knights marks the third meeting between the two schools. Rutgers is a perfect 2-0 against UCF, with its last win resulting in a best-of-three victory (15-4, 6-15, 15-3) during the 1983 season.
UCF currently boasts a 10-4 record and a 1-0 mark in American Athletic Conference action. The Knights will host UConn on Friday, Oct. 4 before facing off against the Scarlet Knights on Sunday. Most recently, UCF defeated in-state rival USF in three sets (22-25, 22-25, 23-25) on Friday Sept. 27 to open AAC play.
The Knights lead the AAC in several statistic categories including: hitting percentage (.270), assists (13.28/set) and kills (13.98/set) and are second in blocks with 2.38 rejections/set.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Angelica Crump leads the Knights and the AAC in kills averaging 4.00 putdowns/set. Redshirt junior setter Marie Reiterova also leads UCF and the conference with 11.75 assists/set.
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