ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF volleyball team opened its penultimate road trip of the regular season on Friday with a solid sweep at UConn. The win was the No. 23 Knights’ (21-3, 12-0) 18th straight victory.
Yet again, the block led the way with 12 rejections on the night. Kathryn Wesolich totaled seven assisted blocks, and Anne-Marie Watson turned away five on the night. McKenna Melville recorded four stuffs with a pair of solos.
The back row stepped it up, again, with stellar play on balls that made it past the block. Jordan Pingel continued her impressive run of play with an average of eight digs per set. The Knights never let the Huskies hit above .200 in any set, finishing with .116.
McKenna Melville notched her 17th double-double of the campaign with 11 digs and a team-high 17 kills on the night. Watson finished just one-kill shy of her ninth game with double-figure kills. UCF posted a .243 attack percentage, with five players hitting above .200. The Knights also dropped four service aces, led by Amber Olson’s pair.
The opening salvo of the match featured a back-and-forth pace. With a 9-8 lead, the Black and Gold struck for a pair of four-point streaks to open a 19-11 lead. Despite hitting just .176, the Knights were 13-for-18 on sideout opportunities. Melville posted a quartet of kills at a .429 clip.
UCF struck early in the second with an 11-4 run to take a 13-6 advantage. UConn battled back to take a 20-19 lead, only for the Knights rally to a 22-20 lead. The Huskies regained the lead and had set point, but UCF finished with the final three points to take a 2-0 lead into the break. Melville connected on seven kills, while the block rejected five UConn attacks. Pingel anchored the back row with 11 digs.
The two clubs traded blows in the opening stages, before UCF extended a small lead to a 15-10 gap. Again, UConn rallied to pull within one, but the Knights closed out the match with six of the last seven points. The attack had its most efficient game of the match with 13 kills and one error.
NOTES TO KNOW
>> The sweep was the eighth of the season for the Knights.
>> Wesolich crossed the 100-block mark on the season. She is one rejection away from breaking into the top-10 for the single season record book.
>> Thursday was the 10th match with at least 10 blocks for the Knights this season.
The Knights look to match the program record for best start in The American with 13 straight wins on Saturday at Temple.
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