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Monday Rewind
August 29, 2016
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com)--The UCF volleyball team played four matches in 33 hours in the 2016 opening weekend. The Knights posted a 3-1 record, and won the Holiday Inn Orlando East UCF Area Invitational.

"Now that we've had a day to watch video and really pour over the stats, especially the video of where we were playing against Florida State, when you're in the moment you don't always see how well you played," said head coach Todd Dagenais. "All you do is remember the turmoil points and the blocks and what not. But watching the film, from our point-scoring game, meaning our serve to dig to attack game, we were outstanding. We were the best that we have been in well over two years."

UCF opened their season with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) victory over Stony Brook. The team hit .370 with 45 kills, 41 assists and 39 digs. Jale Hervey led the team with 15 kills, hitting .464 with three aces.

"We knew (the Seawolves) were going to be tough," Dagenais said. "To come out and hit .370 as a team in the opening match is a pretty high octane offense. It's not something that we can sustain all year, but we were making plays when we had to."

The Knights closed out Friday action with a 3-1 (25-19, 25-14 ,23-25, 25-21) win against Kent State. Hervey recorded 14 kills, while Taylor Gallart, Ann Richards and Kia Bright each tallied 11 kills.

"I was asked this morning, what my ideal stat sheet would look like and I said 'I want to look down at the kills and see 11,11,11,11,11,11 for six hitters," said Dagenais. "We did what we needed to do to spread out the ball to our pin hitters to make ourselves successful."

On Saturday, UCF took on No. 17 Florida State. The Knights fell 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-13), but had more kills, more assists and more digs than the Seminoles. Bright recorded a double-double as she had 11 kills and 11 digs.

"I look at us and say that we are only a fraction of the team we will be in a few weeks. To be able to really push (Florida State) like we did in the first two sets is something to build on," said Dagenais. "I give a lot of credit for the courage my team showed in the third set, especially the hitters who knew they were going against a double block."

The Knights wrapped the weekend up when they defeated Stetson 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17) on Saturday evening. Bright recorded a team-high 13 kills, hitting .565, 8 digs, and 2 aces.

"I feel that this really just showed us how to persevere through the tough times," said Bright. "Even being pushed early on, playing teams that weren't ourselves, showed us our strengths as well as weaknesses and I think we adjusted really well."

Hervey headlined the group being named tournament MVP. Bright and Richards were both placed on the All-Tournament Team, as well as Hervey being named Tournament MVP.

The Knights hit the road as they head to Carbondale, Ill., to partake in the Saluki Invitational on Sept. 2-3. UCF will open the weekend against the host school, Southern Illinois on Sept., 2 at 8 p.m. ET.

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