Nov. 18, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
TULSA, Okla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Looking to clinch a berth into the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship for the first time since 2003, the UCF volleyball team was unable to overcome an aggressive Tulsa defense as it was swept (25-15, 25-18, 25-17) in the finals of the Conference USA Volleyball Championship at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Sunday.
The Knights (16-15) were held to just a .083 attack percentage (33-22-129), their third-lowest clip of the season and lowest since Sept. 15 at Texas. Conversely, Tulsa hit .267 (46-15-116) and out-dug UCF, 60-47 while out blocking them 12-6.
The bottom line is simple. Tulsa was a much better team than we were today, head coach Todd Dagenais said. They didn't leave us many opportunities to get into rallies with them. We didn't first ball kill real well and when we did stop their first ball kill, we struggled getting transition kills. They scored too easily and we just had a hard time scoring.
We knew Tulsa liked to set the ball off the net, just like Houston did yesterday, so we prepared for that, Dagenais continued. But there were two things we didn't do well, we didn't respond quickly on the back row to put ourselves in a position to get those deep digs and our block was undisciplined. We didn't hold long enough and our wall was jumping too early and getting hit on the way down. They put us in positions where we had to adjust and we just didn't do it quickly enough.
For the third time in the tournament, redshirt sophomore Marie Reiterova recorded a double-double with 30 assists and 10 digs. Senior Meredith Murphy extended her double-digit digs streak to 18 with a team-high 11 digs. Offensively, the Knights were led by senior Tory McCutcheon and sophomore Ashley Gialenios who each smacked seven kills. Sophomore DeLaina Sarden had five kills and five blocks.
Reiterova and Sarden were named to the C-USA Volleyball All-Tournament Team for their efforts through the three-day event.
Tulsa was led by the three-time C-USA Player of the Year and tournament MVP, Tyler Henderson, who blasted 20 kills and hit a tremendous .500 for the match. Fellow All-Tournament Team member Jessica Adams dug out a game-high 17 shots and dished out a pair of assists.
The Knights will return to action Friday, Nov. 23 against Central Michigan for the first of two non-conference matches to close the 2012 season.
Conference USA Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team
Tulsa - Tyler Henderson, OH (Most Valuable Player)
Tulsa - Jessica Adams, L
Tulsa - Jordan Clampitt, S
UAB - Sam Serley, MB
UCF - DeLaina Sarden, MB
UCF - Marie Reiterova, S