Broke Down the Broncos

CARBONDALE, Ill. (UCFKnights.com)--The UCF volleyball team swept Western Michigan 3-0 (25-25, 25-9, 25-17) in their last match of the Saluki Invitational on Saturday evening. Their straight victories gave them name of the Saluki Invitational Champions.

"I thought that was our best complete match, from beginning to end, this year," said head coach Todd Dagenais. "We were really solid, especially on the defensive end of things. I thought we did a nice job of monitoring our cues. Our pin blockers did a great job of getting in front of Western Michigan's outside hitters. I think our serving game limited their middles, because they are a middle dominated team, who have the ability to take over the match."

The Broncos started strong keeping the first set close with the Knights. The score was tied 10 times and there were three different lead changes in the first. UCF strung together four back-to-back points to take the first set 25-23. In the second, the Black and Gold held the Western Michigan to nine points. In the third, the Knights opened the set on a 10-4 run before forcing the Broncos to call a timeout. UCF was resilient following the break and never let WMU tie the game or take the lead.

Jordan Pingel was named tournament MVP after recording 66 digs in three matches. Jale Hervey and Taylor Gallart were both named to the All-Tournament Team as well.

"Looking at the schedule, we knew this was the toughest tournament of the year, and to come out of here with a tournament victory is something we are really proud of," said Dagenais. "To get three of our players on the All-Tournament team is a great honor. I think Jordan, putting up 66 digs over the weekend should put her in very high contention for conference player of the week. I think that the number of kills that both Jale (Hervey) and Taylor (Gallart) put up, should give them an opportunity to be considered for weekly accolades as well."

Graceful Gallart

  • Senior Taylor Gallart led the team with 17 kills.
  • The Germantown, Md., native hit .727 in the match.
  • She also had three aces and six digs.
  • "Taylor stepped into a role that she was familiar with, but hasn't played in a long time," said Dagenais. "We (the coaches) couldn't be more pleased with how well she performed in that role."


  • For the second match in a row, freshman Alli Sabol recorded a second-best eight kills in the match.
  • She hit .267 and recorded two block assists.

They Can Dig It

  • Sophomore libero Jordan Pingel tallied 13 digs.
  • "This weekend, Jordan was outstanding," said Dagenais. "It was the best job of reading and being in the right spot to make a dig. She handled everything that came at her. It was a really great weekend for her."
  • Outside Jalé Hervey posted 10 digs.
  • "She (Jalé) really stepped up and into our enforcer role, where she did a great job," Dagenais said.

Team Effort

  • Five players recorded six or more kills in the match.
  • The team hit .424, with only 10 errors.
  • Setters Miranda Watkins and Farah Rajaee shared time made 19 and 22 assists, respectively.

Up Next

  • The Knights return home for the Holiday Inn Orlando East UCF Area Classic.
  • The Knights will take on the Florida Atlantic Owls and the LSU Tigers on Friday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.