Oct. 7, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - For the second time this season, UCF middle blocker DeLaina Sarden has been named the American Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week.
The junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., racked up 23 kills, three service aces, eight digs and five combined blocks while hitting .442 overall in a pair of league victories over UConn and Rutgers this past weekend.
DeLaina had another tremendous weekend for us offensively, UCF head coach Todd Dagenais said. We need her to attack and score for us in so many different ways and I thought she did a really nice job handling a different setter, while still finding ways to hit nationally elite level hitting percentages.
This marks the third-career weekly honor for Sarden to go along with the inaugural Player of the Week award from The American and her Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week award in 2012.
In addition to Sarden's honor, freshman outside hitter Taylor Gallart was named to the conference's weekly honor roll for other top performances. The Germantown, Md., native smacked 14 kills and recorded 15 digs in just five sets played.
Taylor had the type of weekend we've been expecting her to have since the first couple weeks of the season, Dagenais said. I'm especially impressed with how Taylor has taken skills that we're working on in practice and applying them to matches. We spent the week working on a very specific shot and she did it multiple times during the match, including the match winner.
The Knights (12-4, 3-0 The American) will look to keep their winning streak going this weekend as they hit the road for a pair of conference matches at Cincinnati and Louisville. The Sunday match against Louisville will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 1 p.m.