Jan. 26, 2012
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By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The rising junior class features an All-American outside hitter and a solid defensive specialist as Angelica Crump (Atlanta, Ga.) and Roxy Mendez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) turned in impressive 2011 campaigns.
Crump finished the 2011 season 22nd in the nation in kills per set (4.34) and 42nd in points per set (4.60), earning her AVCA Honorable Mention All-America status and All-Conference USA First Team honors. As for Mendez, her situational defense aided the Knights to averaging 15.38 digs per set, nearly a dig per set better than opponents faced.
Head coach Todd Dagenais shared his thoughts on the two rising juniors.
On Angelica Crump...
"Angelica established herself as one of the premier attackers in the country last year, easily one of the top 50 overall. She still has two years left and is probably operating at 25% of what she is going to be when it is all said and done. Speeds of attack, approach angels, arm-swing changes and ball manipulation are all things she hasn't touched on yet. When she does, she is going to become an elite attacker. Not to mention the blocking that is coming along. She is becoming an all-around player.
"It is really exciting to look at someone like that and say `Wow she is just a sophomore.' People say that athletes have a sophomore slump, but she had a sophomore slugfest. We are looking for her to continue to be one of the top attackers in the conference and hopefully land herself on one of the top three All-America teams next year."
On Roxy Mendez...
"Roxy is another one of those players who has come in and filled a roll very much like Dani (Harrison). What's nice about Roxy is as soon as we see a need plug, that is where she goes. Roxy has really made herself a very versatile player for us and she is continuing to grow and get more confident. Her defensive instincts are probably amongst the best, if not the best, of our back-row core. We are just trying to hone those instincts and make them a little more game-like for her. I really see her stepping into some big rolls after Meredith (Murphy) graduates."