Volleyball

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Sweeping South Florida, Again
November 25, 2017
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TAMPA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team completed the season sweep of USF and claimed all six points in the War On I-4 with a dominant 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) victory in Tampa on Saturday night. The Knights (19-13, 12-8) closed the conference slate on a six-match winning streak, the longest to end a regular season in the Todd Dagenais era.

UCF took command of the match in the opening two frames. The Knights jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the first, behind two kills apiece from Alli Sabol and Kristina Fisher. The closest the Bulls (12-18, 7-13) could pull within was two, before the Black and Gold closed the game out on a 10-7 run and hit .277. In the second, UCF outhit the hosts .243 to .238 and committed three fewer errors. Neither side could break free until the Knights rolled off a decisive 7-3 stretch midway through the set, with a trio of scores from Fisher.

After the first meeting between the two clubs on Wednesday, in which the Bulls notched 16 kills in all three sets, the Knights stepped up their defense on Saturday night. UCF held USF below .200 hitting in two sets, including a match-low .073 in the third. Taylor Wickey recorded five of the Knights' nine rejections. Jeanne Westney and Anne-Marie Watson each added a trio of assisted blocks.

TINA TERRORIZES
* Fisher struck for 14 kills at a .480 hitting percentage with just two errors.
* The rookie finished with a team-high 12 digs.
* The native of Austin, Texas, also chipped in at the net with an assisted block.

SPREADING IT OUT ON OFFENSE
* The Knights tallied a hitting percentage over .200 in the first and second frames, including a match-high .277 in the opener.
* Wickey registered eight scoring swings on an errorless .533 clip at the net.
* Six Knights posted four or more kills on the night.



CLOSING THE MATCH
* USF came out of the break with a new energy and took a 10-2 lead in the third.
* UCF responded with a 14-6 run to tie the set at 16-16.
* With the game tied at 18-18, the Knights finished out the match by scoring seven of the final nine points.
* The senior duo of Wickey and Kia Bright led the way with eight combined kills.
* The Black and Gold sent five USF attacks back over the net.

WAR ON I-4
* With the victory, UCF takes a 21-9 lead over USF in the yearlong series.
* With a pair of wins in volleyball and the incredible victory in football, the Knights swept the Bulls this week.

DAGENAIS DIALOGUE
Head Coach Todd Dagenais after the match.
Overall on the match...
"I thought early on we were mixing things up offensively, and it was successful more often than not. Offensively, we were scoring points. It basically came down to a shootout during those first two sets. On defense, the game plan that Brian Doyon, based on what we did on Wednesday, was outstanding. We kept their two top players in check. Jenny Maurer did a great job with the offense. Our game plan allowed us to be successful in a shootout."

On the play of Kristina Fisher...
"This is at least four matches where Kristina has carried our offense consistently, and that's with us using a very basic offense with her. I can't wait for Jenny to open the offense and use her in different ways. She has been as consistent as you could want a freshman to be when she's under pressure. We're really excited about how she finished, because that's a great sign of years to come."

On coming from behind in the third...
"In the third, USF came out with a lot of energy. I thought we struggled early on in that set. After the timeout at 9-2, we settled down and tried to score three points to their two. That's how we were able to get back into the set and tie them at 16-16. Once we tied that thing up and got that three-point separation, I felt great. Lache Harper came off the bench and got a big block, which was a huge momentum swing for us. That's what she was out there to do. She was out there to stop their outside hitting, who was torching us."

On sweeping the War On I-4...
"We're not naïve enough to think that the USF matches don't have an added value. We don't try too hard or do things that we normally wouldn't do because it's the War On I-4. Of course, it's sitting in the back of our head. We take great pride and responsibility to go out there and score points for UCF. We want to lift the trophy at the end of the year. We're thrilled to get six points for our school once again."

PLAYING THE WAITING GAME
With the regular season over, the Knights will wait for Sunday night when the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) will announce its 32-team field.

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