By Megan Herboth
ORLANDO, Fla. - The UCF volleyball team opened the 2014 season with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-20) win over Eastern Kentucky and followed it up with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-17) win over Western Carolina in the Radisson UCF Invitational. The Knights (2-0) close out the two-day tournament with a 1:00 p.m. match against Northeastern and the nightcap against FIU at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Radisson UCF Tournament Central
Match One: UCF 3, Eastern Kentucky 0 UCF-EKU Box Score
In UCF's first match of the day, the Knights and the Colonels battled back-and-forth in the first set. Sophomore Jale Hervey, who made her Knight debut, sparked UCF by hitting two of her 17 kills consecutively to put some distance between the teams. With momentum on their side, the Knights took a commanding lead in the second set and freshman Ann Richards recorded her first collegiate kill to give UCF a two-set lead. In the third set, Eastern Kentucky led by as many as two points on several occasions, but seniors DeLaina Sarden and Ashley Gialenios ensured a UCF victory with three consecutive kills to end the match.
Sarden added 15 kills and two solo blocks while hitting .609 for the match. Sophomore Kia Bright finished with seven kills as she earned her first start at UCF. Bright has tallied at least five kills in every match of her collegiate career. Senior Marie Reiterova and junior Dana Faught each dished out double digit assists, with Reiterova notching 26 and Faught recording 13. Senior Jade Hays led the Knights with 22 digs.
Match Two: UCF 3, Western Carolina 0 UCF-WCU Box Score
After alternating points with the Catamounts in the early going, UCF used an 8-0 run to close out the first set and set the tone for the Knights in the second set. Senior Loren Cory reinforced that concept as she entered the game to slam down a pair of kills in her first two attempts of the season. Reiterova set a perfect ball for senior Kaye-Alese Green to hammer down and give the Knights a 2-0 lead over Western Carolina. UCF was in the groove in the final set and junior Abbie Fleener's 12th kill of the match was the victory point as the Knights completed the opening day sweep.
Fleener was one of four Knights to hit doule-figure kills. Hervey tallied a team-high 17 kills, bringing her total to 34 on the day. Kia Bright matched Fleener with 12 kills, while Green recorded 10 kills. Dana Faught posted a double-double with a team-high 28 digs and 10 assists. Hayes led the team with 28 digs, while Reiterova passed out 26 assists.