Aug 30, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team split a pair of matches on the first day of the UCF Invitational with a five-set loss (18-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21, 10-15) to Valparaiso in the opener and a sweep (25-16, 25-21, 25-15) over North Florida in the second contest. The Knights (1-1) close out the two-day tournament at The Venue with a 3:30 p.m. match against Alabama State and a 7:30 p.m. tilt against UAPB on Saturday.
Match One: Valparaiso 3, UCF 2 - Box Score
In their first match of the day, the Knights staged a furious comeback, but came up short as they lost a heartbreaker in five sets to the Crusaders (2-0). UCF dropped the first two games of the match, but rallied to even the score and force a deciding final frame. The Black and Gold dominated the dig battle, 77-53, but 34 attack errors by the Knights proved to be the too much to overcome.
Junior opposite hitter Loren Cory shattered her previous career-high in kills with a team-best 18 on 39 swings. The Queensland, Australia native came into the day with a single-match high of just seven kills. Junior libero Jade Hayes made a big impression in her first action as a Knight. The Missouri transfer finished with a match-high 30 digs and chipped in six assists. Junior setter Marie Reiterova came up with a big double-double, dishing out 49 assists and tying her career-best with 17 digs.
Match Two: UCF 3, North Florida 0 - Box Score
UCF showed a renewed intensity in the nightcap, jumping on the Ospreys (1-1) early with a swarming defense effort and maintaining that pace over three sets for the sweep. The Knights held UNF to just a .095 attack percentage and racked up 14 total team blocks.
Junior Delaina Sarden had a monster performance as she finished the evening contest with 18 kills on 22 attempts without committing a single error. Her .818 hitting percentage was good for fourth in the UCF all-time record book in a single match. Sarden, who chipped in 15 kills and five combined blocks in the opening match, finished her day with 33 kills and 10 blocks.