Oct. 18, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
HOUSTON, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - Looking to get back on track after suffering its first defeat in American Athletic Conference play, the UCF volleyball team came up short as it was swept by Houston (25-23, 31-29, 25-20) on Friday night at the UH Athletics/Alumni Center.
The Knights (13-6, 4-2 The American) were never able to get on track offensively as they hit just .173 for the match, well below their season average of .255. The Cougars (13-9, 5-2) won both of the main team defensive metrics as they out-dug UCF, 66-56, and out blocked the Knights 11-6. The Black and Gold struggled in the serve/receive game as they allowed eight aces while not recording an ace of their own.
I thought Houston tonight played a lot better than what we saw on film this week, head coach Todd Dagenais said. They are a vastly improved team over last year and Katie has done a great job with her team. With that being said, I'm extremely disappointed with the way we played. We had control of both of the first two sets and were our own worst enemy. You just can't get away with that on the road.
Senior Angelica Crump led the Knights with 11 kills and was backed by 10 from junior DeLaina Sarden. The Cougars, however, did an excellent job against UCF's leading attackers holding them to just .047 and .259 attack percentages respectively. Defensively, junior libero Jade Hayes extended her double-digit digs streak to 14 after digging out 18 Cougar shots (6.00 digs per set). Senior Roxy Mendez chipped in with 12 digs, her seventh double-digit dig effort of the season.
We had opportunities to make simple plays and for whatever reason we didn't make those players, Dagenais said. We just didn't execute things we execute every day in practice and ultimately it cost us the first two sets and the match. When we lose the serve/pass game as badly as we did, attacks and blocks really don't matter. Our passing core has great passers and all have the ability to execute better than they did tonight.
UCF will look to start a new winning streak on Sunday as it concludes its Texas road trip with a 2 p.m. matinee at SMU.