Sept. 14, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
AUSTIN, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) -The UCF volleyball team came up short against future BIG EAST foe Cincinnati, 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25- 23), in the opening match Friday on day one of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.
The Knights (3-7) out-dug the Bearcats 52 to 44, but were unable to overcome 21 attack errors as they hit just .109 for the match. Cincinnati (2-8) capitalized by hitting .295 and finishing with a 44 to 32 advantage in kills.
Do not let their record fool you. Cincinnati is a very good volleyball team that won the BIG EAST last season and made a run in the NCAA tournament. They can still make noise this season with the way they are capable of playing, head coach Todd Dagenais said. They were very efficient and physical all game and they hit a high percentage all afternoon. That is the kind of physicality we're going to have to match when we play teams like them next season in conference play.
I thought one of the biggest positives of the day was that for the first time all year, both left side hitters hit with the velocity and the efficiency that we need to win, Dagenais added. I was really encouraged with the mindset Ashley had and I thought Angelica played at a very high level physically. What we need to do now is to have our middles and our right sides play well at the same time as the left sides do. If we get four of our five hitters contributing all at the same time we'll be very difficult to beat.
UCF will look to bounce back as it wraps up the tournament with two matches on Saturday. The Knights will take on No. 23 Illinois tomorrow at 9 a.m. and will conclude the tournament with a nationally televised contest against host No. 6 Texas at 5 p.m. The final match of the event will air live on the Longhorn Network.
The Knights were led by sophomore Ashley Gialenios who smashed a season-high 15 kills. Redshirt junior Angelica Crump chipped in with 11 kills while hitting .240. Freshman Dana Faught finished with 20 assists as she extended her double-digit assist streak to seven matches.
Senior Meredith Murphy led the way defensively with 13 digs, giving her 1,624 on her career and moving her just 20 digs shy of the all-time program mark of 1,644.
The Knights dropped a tough opening frame, 25-15, despite three kills from Crump. The Black and Gold held a 15-12 lead halfway through set two, but the Bearcats rattled off six-consecutive points take a lead it would not relinquish as it took the set, 25-20. UCF battled back in the third stanza to erase a 19-15 behind nine big kills from Gialenios, but the Bearcats responded with five of the next seven points to take the match.