Stopped by SMU

DALLAS, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team's bid to knock SMU from the ranks of the unbeaten in the American Athletic Conference came up short on Sunday afternoon in Moody Coliseum. Despite a match-high 13 kills from Kia Bright, the Knights (9-9, 2-4) could not top the league leaders, falling 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-15) on the road.

"We continue to be a team that is searching for the right formula and the right mixture to put us in a position to have success," head coach Todd Dagenais said. "Although we weren't able to find it this weekend, there were a lot of things that we can build on. We just have to get back in the practice gym and get a little bit better in some of the areas that are costing us points in sets. The commitment and attitude are there, and I believe that this is a team that is firmly committed to be the best team it can be."

Bright led the way offensively with the most kills in a three-set match this season for UCF. Alli Sabol chipped in with eight kills and Kristina Fisher had seven. Libero Jordan Pingel recorded eight digs. Setters Erin Olson and Miranda Watkins split 32 assists evenly.

Fisher and Bright combined for six block solos, while Sabol and Anne-Marie Watson teamed up for the lone block assist.

The Knights opened quickly in the first, taking a 4-1 lead with two kills from Bright. The Knights forced an SMU (12-5, 6-0) timeout at 15-12, but the Mustangs responded on a 6-2 run. Fisher tied the set up at 18-18 with a drive through the block, but the Mustangs then benefited from a pair of UCF miscues late in the set to finish on a 7-3 run.

The offense turned to Bright early in the second, as the redshirt senior tallied five of the Knights' first eight kills, the other three came from Sabol. Tied at 8-8, the Black and Gold could not halt an 8-3 SMU run. Bright managed to pull UCF back within four at 21-17, but the Mustangs scored four of the next six points. The Knights hit a match-high .314 from 15 kills on 35 swings with four errors.

UCF came out of the break firing in the third, jumping out to a 6-3 lead. The hosts responded with four straight points. Fisher drove an attack down the line to even the score at 7-7, but SMU closed the match out on an 18-8 run.

The Knights return to The Venue next weekend to continue AAC action against UCONN on Friday and Temple on Sunday. Friday's contest will be Alumni Weekend for UCF Volleyball.

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