ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 21 UCF volleyball team capped a perfect season in the American Athletic Conference on Friday with a sweep of South Florida. The Knights improved their winning streak to 24 straight and finished the regular season with a 27-3 record.
The Knights cruised at a .232 attack percentage for the match. McKenna Melville led the way with 14 kills on 33 attempts at a .273 clip, while Anne-Marie Watson and Kristina Fisher both produced 11-kill performances. Watson finished with a team-high .308 hitting percentage.
Melville totaled 16 digs in the back row to finish with her 21st double-double of the year. In the final regular season match in The Venue of her career, Jordan Pingel was an anchor with 12 digs, ending up just two digs shy of breaking the single-season digs record set in 1993.
After a opening set without a block, UCF racked up eight rejections over the final two frames, all of which were block assists. Nerissa Moravec turned away five attacks for a match high.
Amber Olson helped the offense roll all night with a double-double of 35 assists and 11 digs to go along with four blocks.
The opening frame was a back-and-forth affair. UCF opened an early three-point lead, but the visitors rallied to take an 11-9 advantage. The Knights responded to the tune of a 18-15 lead. The gap grew to as many as five, before Fisher rounded out the frame with her sixth kill. UCF was on fire offensively with a .364 clip at the net. Watson also picked up six kills.
The Knights charged out to a 7-1 lead in the second game. The Bulls dwindled it down to four points at 14-8, but a Watson-Moravec block and a Melville kill took the lead out to nine at 18-9. Melville led the way with six kills, while Watson totaled five on 10 swings. The block turned away five attacks with Olson and Moravec teaming up for three stops.
UCF found itself on the wrong side of a 7-2 run to start the set. The Knights rebounded by scoring 14 of the next 20 points, eventually taking a 20-14 lead. After a timeout at 22-20, the Knights finished the match with three straight points, including an ace by Olson. UCF picked up three of its service aces in the final game.
NOTES TO KNOW
>> The 27-3 record is tied for the best NCAA Division I regular season mark in program history with 1997.
>> UCF became the third team in The American’s history to go undefeated in conference play.
>> Kathryn Wesolich totaled three blocks on the night. She needs just 11 more block assists to break the single-season record.
The Knights will find out where they will play in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. with the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on ESPNU. UCF will host a watch party starting at 8 p.m. at Burger U.