Oct. 5, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - In a tightly contested battle in The Venue, the UCF volleyball team was unable to overcome a strong SMU attack and dropped the match, 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 21-25, 27-29). The Knights (5-12, 2-3) played without head coach Todd Dagenais for the fourth-consecutive match as he continues to recover from a heart procedure. Dagenais is expected to return to the bench next week.
The Black and Gold got a strong performance from redshirt sophomore Marie Reiterova who recorded her fourth-consecutive double-double with a 25-assist, 13-dig performance. Sophomore Ashley Gialenios also notched a double-double, her second of the season. Senior Evija Vilde had a strong all-around game with 11 kills, six digs and five blocks.
SMU did a great job of executing the one-on-one battles and that's kind of where we let down. On the free balls sent over the net, we just didn't execute those well enough, acting head coach Michelle Chatman said. We talk about when those types of plays happen and we get the freebies, we have to be salivating and ready to make the kill. We just didn't have that mindset tonight. We're looking forward to bringing it on Sunday.
I think Evija did a great job offensively. She and Ashley took some great swings in critical moments, Chatman continued. Right now we're in a situation where we're making the assertive and smart play. If we can continue to be assertive and keep taking confident swings, we'll be alright.
On Sunday, UCF will welcome C-USA leader Tulsa to campus. The Knights will be looking for their first win over the Golden Hurricane since 2008.
The Knights wasted no time going up 1-0 in the match thanks to a 5-0 run to close out the first frame, 25-16. Senior Tory McCutcheon blasted a team-high four kills in the frame and fellow senior Dani Harrison ripped off three service aces. Senior Meredith Murphy covered the floor all frame with eight of her team-high 21 digs.
After the Knights dropped a fierce back-and-forth battle in the second, 25-23, and another closely contested third set, 25-21, they showed off their resiliency in the fourth set battling back from a 23-20 deficit to have two chances at the set, 24-23 and 25-24. However, SMU's Caroline Young proved to be too much for the Knights as she blasted her 26th and final kill to give the Mustangs (5-13, 2-4) the lead, 28-27, and eventually the match.