ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKNights.com) – The UCF volleyball team had its first taste of competition against another team on Saturday afternoon. The Knights put together a thoroughly dominant performance to sweep the University of Tampa 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-18) in The Venue.
McKenna Melville showed no signs of any freshman jitters, as the rookie powered the offense with 14 kills and an attacking clip of .257. Jordan Pingel and Erin Olson were both steady presences in the back row with 11 and nine digs, respectively.
UCF notched a .283 hitting percentage, which included a pair of frames above .300. At the net, Nerissa Moravec, Kathryn Wesolich and Melville tallied a pair of blocks, as the Black and Gold finished the match with six rejections. The defense also kept Tampa to a hitting percentage of .144, including .000 in the opening frame.
The Black and Gold flew out of the gates in the opening set with an 11-2 advantage prior to Tampa’s first timeout. The Spartans managed to climb back into the frame due to a handful of UCF attack errors, but the advantage was too much for the visitors to overcome. Melville led the way with five kills, and Erin Olson picked up seven of her 20 assists.
After a back-and-forth opening barrage of points, the Knights took a 2-0 lead into the break after finishing the game on a 7-3 run. UCF posted a match-high .400 clip at the net, with Melville and Nerissa Moravec leading the way with four scores apiece. Erin Olson blocked a pair of attacks, one solo and one assisted.
UCF had to play from behind for the first time in the match, but a Kathryn Wesolich service ace knotted the game up at 13-13. From that point on, the Knights scored seven of the next eight points to close out the contest. The block came together in the final frame with four rejections, led by a pair of assists from Moravec and Melville.
• For the six freshmen, it was their first opportunity to take on a different team since preseason camp opened two weeks ago.
• Melville finished with 14 kills, one assist, four digs and two block assists.
• Amber Olson checked in for all three sets and notched 11 dimes and five digs.
• Garcia drove home six kills.
• Wilson saw action in three sets and picked up three digs and one service ace.
• Wesolich made the most of her five attack, finding the floor on a pair of them for .400 attack percentage.
• Paulina Perez notched one kill.
On the focus of the day…
Today was not about anything other than playing another team. I was more interested in seeing what the energy, attack and fight was like from our players. I wanted to know what our personality would be. I thought we were timid at first but did some pretty good things to start. We had the opportunity to get some players in situations that had little pressure. We were able to toy with different things, while only using about 10-percent of our playbook.
On what the team wanted to accomplish…
We wanted to focus on doing the little things very well. We know we have somethings to work on, and we’ll do that once practice starts next week. Today, I was excited to see that our first time on the floor together against another team looked like volleyball. It was what we wanted to look like. It was a pretty exciting brand of volleyball.
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