By Megan Herboth
"I thought we executed the game plan really well, probably as well as we have ever done," UCF head coach Todd Dagenais said. "Volleyball is just a game of momentum."
UCF (7-4) hit the courts with a mission, using a .349 hitting percentage in the second set to take a 2-0 lead into intermission. The Knights held Marquette to just a .121 hitting percentage in the opening set and zero blocks in the second set, well below the Golden Eagles' season average.
The third set began the shift in momentum, as Marquette used an early run to take a 14-10 lead. The Knights were able to pull even at 22 on a kill from sophomore Jale Hervey, but back-to-back Knight errors gave Marquette enough of a lead to take the set. Despite hitting a match-best .409 in the fourth set, UCF was unable to stop a late Marquette run that included three Golden Eagle service aces and the teams were knotted with a pair of victories each.
Playing in their first fifth set of the season, the Knights found themselves trailing 5-1 early. A 4-0 run pulled UCF even and a Marquette error gave the Black and Gold an 8-7 lead. Sophomore Kia Bright tallied her second solo block of the match to put UCF up 13-11, prompting a Marquette timeout. The Golden Eagles rattled off the final four points to pull off the come-from-behind victory.
"When you have a great team with great team chemistry you have opportunities to do great things," Dagenais said. "They are just disappointed right now. The focus is on moving forward."
Hervey hit .271 with a match-high 21 kills. Sophomore Kia Bright posted a double-double, recording 19 kills and 12 digs while denying four shots. Senior DeLaina Sarden had a team-best five blocks. Senior Marie Reiterova and junior Dana Faught recorded their fourth double-double matches of the season. Reiterova finished the match with 26 assists and 15 digs, while Faught tallied 24 assists and 10 digs. Senior Jade Hayes was the fourth Knight with a double-double, as she finished with 15 digs and 12 assists.
UCF travels to Gainesville to wrap up non-conference action against No. 7 Florida at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
UCF Volleyball is presented by Radisson- UCF Area. Season tickets are also available for $30, good for one general admission seat to all 2014 regular season home matches. Youth (ages 2-17 years) season tickets are on sale for $15. The GOLD Pass, which includes one general admission seat for all home men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball, softball, women's basketball and track & field events, is available for $90. For more information on how to purchase tickets, visit UCFKnights.com or call 407-UCF-1000.