Aug. 24, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
TAMPA, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team's first effort of the 2012 season came up short Friday night from The Corral at the Sun Dome as Creighton (1-0) topped the Knights, 3-1 (25-16, 14-25, 20-25, 22-25). The Black and Gold (0-1) will hit the court for their second match of the tournament on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. against Wisconsin as a part of the USF Invitational.
The loss snapped a four-match opening day unbeaten streak under head coach Todd Dagenais.
The Knights matched the Bluejays in kills with 50; however they finished with 27 attack errors and were out blocked, 16-5. Redshirt sophomore Marie Reiterova got the start at setter and responded with her second-career double-double as she tallied 33 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore Ashley Gialenios, who saw time at both OPP and OH, set a new career-high with a team-best 13 kills.
Senior Meredith Murphy chipped in with a team-high 22 digs which moved her just 122 digs away from tying the all-time program record of 1,644.
"Obviously we're very disappointed with the result of this first match," Dagenais explained. "I didn't think we were able to match Creighton's defensive intensity and that has to be a hallmark of who we are as a team. Creighton did an outstanding job of making defensive plays and converting them into points.
"We scheduled a challenging open to our season for a reason. We have to mature offensively and get more consistent as team to have a better chance at winning," Dagenais added. "If you look at the stats, we matched them in kills, but we had 12 more errors and 12 less digs. We have to be a low-error, high-dig team to be successful."
A year after winning 22 of 31 first sets, the Knights continued their strong play in the first frame with a 25-16 first-set triumph after never trailing. UCF used a balanced attack in the opening frame with at least four players registering three kills, led by Gialenios with five. Redshirt junior Angelica Crump got the Knights on the board first with the first kill of the young season while senior Dani Harrison registered the first service ace of the campaign. Harrison also pitched in with 14 digs.
After dropping the first set, Creighton responded with a 25-14 win in the second frame. The Knights would keep it close in the third and fourth stanzas, but the potent attack of Heather Thorson and Leah McNary kept the Knights at bay. The duo totaled 25 of Creighton's 50 kills with 12 and 13, respectively.