By Megan Herboth
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - While it is hard to express exactly what the six members of the UCF volleyball team have brought to the program, it is easy to say that this group is one of the most successful in program history.
Seniors Loren Cory, Ashley Gialenios, Kaye-Alese Green, Jade Hayes, Marie Reiterova and DeLaina Sarden brought experience, talent and unique leadership qualities that led the Knights to a conference championship and the NCAA Tournament.
The six reached many milestones together. They've won over 100 matches as a group. They've won individual awards and etched their names in the record books.
This season they put together a championship season, opening the American Athletic Conference season with a 13-match win streak, the most consecutive wins since 1997. Only dropping two conference matches all season, the Knights won their first AAC conference title and sent UCF back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2003.
"Being a senior with this group of ladies has just been phenomenal," Hayes said.
Each of them have their favorite memories in a UCF uniform, but one holds a little more weight in their minds. Winning a conference title is an accomplishment that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
"It's just the perfect way you want to go out your senior year," Sarden said. "After working for four years, and really trying to have that goal and putting forth all of your effort, to finally have it come true is really amazing."
The seniors have each played an important role in UCF's success this season, and hope to keep that success going in Friday's match against Miami in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. UCF faces the Hurricanes at 4:30 p.m. in Gainesville.