SMU Setback

DALLAS, Texas ( Knights dropped a close three-set match with the American Athletic Conference leader SMU on Thursday evening. SMU took the match 3-0 (17-25, 17-25, 22-25).

"I think that we ran into a team that realized that the conference championship is right in front of their face," said head coach Todd Dagenais. "SMU really did execute rather flawlessly tonight. We knew heading into it that it was going to be a challenge and that we were going to do somethings to try to keep them out of system, and we did some of those things well. On everything else, they were nearly perfect. They have all the makings and all the tools to be a team that goes further than the first round of the NCAA tournament. I was most proud of our fight and our collective spirit of battle that we had and shared amongst each other. We know that we feel like we lost to the conference champions."

UCF (20-8, 10-5 AAC) and SMU (20-7, 13-2 AAC) kept the first set close, before the Mustangs pulled ahead 12-7 in the first set. Southern Methodist held the lead and took the first set, 25-17. SMU held its momentum into the second set jumping out to a 5-2 lead. The Knights fought back to tie it up at six with a Jalé Hervey kill. The Mustangs went on a run going up 11-6 and held on to the momentum to take the second set.

Following the break, the Black and Gold came out fighting in the third set, going up 10-8 on an Alli Sabol kill. UCF went on a 4-1 run, pulling ahead by five points. The Mustangs started chipping away at the Knights lead until it was tied up at 20. SMU pulled ahead 23-20 and clinched the match.

Attacking Alli

  • Freshman Alli Sabol led the team with 10 kills, hitting at a .381 clip.
  • The Dublin, Ohio native made just two errors in the match.
  • This is the right side hitter's ninth match with double-digit kills.
  • This is the sixth time Sabol has recorded double-digit kills and had over a .300 hitting percentage.

Dagenais on Sabol: "Alli stepped into a NCAA tournament-style match and performed extremely well and is only going to get better. She continues to work so hard and it's great to see her perform in these type of matches."

Top Marks

  • Four players recorded double-digit numbers in their respective areas.
  • Sabol tallied 10 kills, while junior Ann Richards produced a .400 hitting percentage.
  • Sophomore Jordan Pingel made 17 digs.
  • Sophomore Miranda Watkins posted 19 assists, while junior Farah Rajaee made 13.

Dagenais on Ann: "We made a switch during the match, and allowed Ann Richards to enter the game. I think she came in and really provided a lot of energy to the floor and did some really nice things for us."

Team Numbers

  • UCF registered 54 digs in comparison to SMU's 55.
  • The Knights recorded six team blocks, while the Mustangs made eight.

Up Next

  • The Black and Gold heads to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane on Saturday.
  • The teams are scheduled to take the hard floor at 2 p.m.

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