Knights' Season Comes to a Close Following Loss to UF

Box Score (PDF) Postgame Press Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The Knights' historic 2019 season came to a close Friday night as they fell to No. 10 seed Florida, 3-0 (21-25, 18-25, 17-25), in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Following a significant win over FSU Thursday night, one that advanced the Knights to the second round for the first time in the Todd Dagenais era and the third time in program history, the Knights looked to move past the second round for the first time ever, but their run would stop there.
The Knights appearance in the NCAA Tournament marked their tenth in program history, and their lost to Florida is the second time they have fallen to them in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after also losing 3-0 the last time they made it that far in 2003.
The loss brought the season record for the Knights to 25-8, tied for the second best mark since 1997.

"This team will hang in the rafters as one of the greatest UCF volleyball teams to ever be on the floor. I believe that's true." UCF Volleyball Head Coach Todd Dagenais said. "This team has gone through a lot over the past year, trying to find it's identity… it took a half a year to figure out who we were, but once we hit that, we really went on a nice run."
The Knights typically high-powered offense stumbled against the Gators, tallying just 30 kills over three sets. Kristina Fisher led the attack, posting 10 kills on 36 swings. McKenna Melville added nine kills to go along with 19 digs.

The loss spelled the end for five seniors, including Erin Olson, Kristina Fisher, Alli Sabol, Lache Harper and Makenzie Kuchmaner.

"Collectively, as a group of five, the mark that they leave is not volleyball. The mark that they leave is as strong, assertive women who are ready to go out in the world and achieve whatever it is that they dream. They can be whatever they want to be," said Dagenais.

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UF started off with four straight points before Lache Harper and Anne-Marie Watson teamed up for a rejection to put the Knights on the board, and a Florida net violation allowed the Knights to tie it at six apiece. Kristina Fisher recorded a kill to put UCF is the lead, their first of the night, making it a 9-8 game. An Amber Olson service ace put UCF up 15-14 before the media timeout stopped play. Another ace from her made it 16-14. The two teams would continue to trade blows, and an Alli Sabol slam gave the Knights a three-point lead, their largest of the set, to make it 20-17, and UF called time. When play resumed, the Gators would go on an 8-1 run to take the first set, 25-21.

After trading blows to begin the set, the Knights fell behind 6-4. They couldn't get it going as the Gators continued to outscore them, going up 12-7 before Dagenais called for time. Following the stoppage, the two teams were more evenly matched, but with UCF still behind, 16-22, they would call timeout once more. The Knights were unable to make up the necessary ground and they would go on to drop the second set, 25-18.

The Knights dropped the first five points of the third set before they called timeout. They fell behind 6-0 before they would score their first point. The Knights were much more evenly matched with the Gators from there but they couldn't quite make up for the initial deficit. Trailing 19-12, UCF called their second timeout, but it would not change the trajectory of the set as the Gators would go on to claim the set, 25-17, and the match, 3-0.



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