Halted by the Hurricanes

FORT MYERS, Fla. ( - The UCF volleyball team dropped the final match of the Sunshine State Classic on Saturday to Miami, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-22).

After two impressive defensive performances yesterday, the Knights (3-3) continued to make things difficult for the Hurricanes attack (5-0), holding the ACC opponent under .200 hitting and 19 errors. Offensively, the Black and Gold struggled to find the floor and finished with a weekend-high 21 errors

Freshman Kristina Fisher led the way offensively for the second straight match, along with redshirt senior Kia Bright, with nine kills. Miranda Watkins posted her third double-double of the year, a 16-assist, 10-dig outing. Jeanne Westney had a solid match with the block, registering five assisted rejctions on the afternoon.

While Miami opened each game with a lead, UCF battled from behind to slash the deficit in its third match of the weekend, compared to the second for the Hurricanes.

The Knights did not have an early answer for an opening 15-3 run by the Hurricanes. UCF registered six of the final nine points of the set to close the score, but the gap was too large to overcome. Miami hit .276 in the opening frame, its only set above .200.

Again, Miami started quick, but the Knights stayed within reach to even the set 7-7. Every time the Hurricanes took the lead, UCF battled back to tie the score. The ACC foes took the game with an 8-3 run in the late stages.

Undaunted by the 2-0 deficit out of the break, the Knights played Miami even tighter in the third. UCF climbed back from a five-point hole to match the Hurricanes at 13-13. Another four-point stretch by Miami provided just enough separation to hold off a late charge by the Black and Gold.


  • For the third straight match, the Knights held an opponent under .200 hitting.
  • Miami committed 19 errors and hit into nine UCF blocks.
  • UCF finished the weekend with a .171 opponent attack percentage.
  • Jordan Pingel averaged 4.82 digs per set, while the Knights tallied 23 blocks.


  • Kia Bright stands just seven kills from becoming the 12th player in program history to notch 1,000 in a career.
  • This season, Bright is averaging 3.76 kills per set and finished with a team-high 42 this weekend.
  • The redshirt senior has scored 1,135 points for the Black and Gold since transferring from Auburn following her freshman year.

Head Coach Todd Dagenais after the match.
On his team fighting from behind...
"I thought Miami did a good job of jumping on us in the first set. I thought they really brought the velocity, something our players weren't expecting. It took us a little bit to recover. I know we were down 13-3, but we we're excited about how we fought back to make it more of a set. Each of the next two sets were pretty close until a point. Miami is just a veteran team with a lot of international experience. I thought they played some important points well, doing the little things that we aren't able to do, yet. This weekend showed that our young players continue to mature. They continue to get better a making plays in critical situations. We're going to get better at playing two matches in one day, and turning around to play a third the next day. Fortunately, we only have one more week of that before we get into a conference schedule type matches. I look forward to seeing how we perform when we are a little fresher getting into each match."

On continuing to play solid defense against a strong team...
"Defensively, I thought we did a really good job against them. On the floor, it felt like we weren't, even though we were. We did a nice job of blocking them. We just made critical mistakes at certain points in the match. We'd climb with them in the middle of sets, but we'd make mistakes in the last 10 points that we weren't able to recover. Part of that is inexperience and playing the third match in two day, while it was the second for Miami. We're going to continue to grow and mature as a team.

On the performance of setter Miranda Watkins...
"Miranda did a nice job of running the offense. It just so happens that the matchups dictated that she started as setter in all three sets. It allowed her to really build up some numbers. The games didn't last long enough to get enough rotations in. Points were being scored in bunches, which meant that Erin Olson didn't get in the game quite as much. Miranda did a great job of running the game plan from what we talked about in film study. She went out there and gave our hitters a great opportunity. The hitters had chances to reward her for those good decisions. Sometimes, we were able to take advantage of that, and other times, we missed."

UCF Volleyball hits the court for its 10th season under head coach Todd Dagenais. Don't miss a single minute of action at The Venue. Visit or call (407) 823-1000 for ticket information.

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