By Megan Herboth
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team gained an additional treat with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-22, 25-22) win over East Carolina in a Volloween match at The Venue on Friday night. The Knights (19-5, 12-0 AAC) earned their 12th straight win, the most consecutive wins since 1997, and remained undefeated in the American Athletic Conference.
"We went out there and competed," UCF head coach Todd Dagenais said "We had our game plan. We knew what we wanted to do. The historical value of what we've done to this point is not going to sink in until December."
A kill from senior Loren Cory opened the night in UCF's favor, and senior DeLaina Sarden followed it with a pair of service aces to give the Knights a 3-0 lead early. Kills from sophomore Jale Hervey and junior Abbie Fleener pushed UCF's lead to 6-1. A block from Fleener and Sarden preceded a Pirate miscue, giving the Knights an 11-3 lead and forcing East Carolina to use a timeout. UCF capped off a 5-0 run with a block from Cory and Sarden to take a 17-4 lead and prompt the second Pirate timeout of the set. The Knights continued to roll and closed out the set with kills from sophomore Kia Bright and Fleener to take the 25-11 opening set win.
East Carolina took advantage of UCF attacking errors and combined them with a pair of kills to build a 5-2 lead in the second set. The Knights battled back to knot the score at 8, but ECU pushed back in front, 15-11. The Pirates took a 22-20 lead but the Knights used kills from Hervey and senior Kaye-Alese Green to tie the score at 22-22. An ECU timeout could not contain the Knights as UCF closed the set with a 5-0 run to claim the 25-22 second set victory.
In a tight third set, the teams tied the score 15 times and traded leads on four occasions. Hervey broke an 18-18 tie to put the Knights on top and Bright followed it with a kill to extend the lead and force and ECU timeout. The Pirates pulled even twice more, tying the score 22-22 before Bright gave the Knights a 23-22 lead with her seventh kill of the night. Consecutive attacking errors by the Pirates sealed the 25-22 third set win and the straight set match victory for the Knights.
"Offensively, I can't find any fault with anything that we did," Dagenais said. "We were fairly low-error. I thought we did an outstanding job of defending the front row setter."
UCF hit .365 as a team with four players hitting above .380 in the match. The Knights held East Carolina to a .151 hitting percentage with no Pirates hitting double digits in kills.
Jale Hervey led the Knights with 16 kills and hit .483 in the match. Abbie Fleener tallied nine kills on 16 swings for a .438 hitting percentage. Kaye-Alese Green hit .385 with six kills on the night. Senior Jade Hayes posted a match-high 13 digs, while Kia Bright tallied 11 digs. DeLaina Sarden and sophomore Shelby Foyer served up two aces each, while Sarden hit .500 with five kills. Senior Marie Reiterova finished with 19 assists, while junior Dana Faught recorded 18 assists.
The Knights return to action next weekend, heading to UConn for a 7 p.m. match on Friday. UCF faces Temple in an afternoon match on Sunday.
UCF Volleyball is presented by Radisson- UCF Area. For more information on how to purchase tickets, visit UCFKnights.com or call 407-UCF-1000.