Knights Sweep UNF

ORLANDO – The Knights continued their undefeated start to the season on Saturday as McKenna Melville and company led UCF to a 3-0 sweep over UNF at The Venue in Orlando, Fla.

The Knights made quick work of the Ospreys, needing just one hour and 22 minutes to complete the sweep and move to 2-0 on the young season.

"I really thought the first 10 points of the match were a battle," said UCF head coach Todd Dagenais. "As the game went on, both teams adjusted to the speed of the other's offense a little bit more, and I think we did a nice job of that. But UNF didn't quit… They played with a lot of heart and a lot of fire tonight... We had to go out there and really play."

The Ospreys gave UCF a battle in the first set as the two teams tied scores 13 different times and the lead changed hands four times. The Knights finally lept ahead late in the set, 18-17, following a kill from Tali Marmen, and they did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the set, going on to win 25-22.

The Knights really began to find their groove in the second set, winning 25-12 to tie for their largest margin of victory in a set to begin the young season (Set three vs. FAU on Jan. 26). The final set started off close, but UCF slowly began to pull away in the middle, going up 14-11 before UNF called timeout. The stoppage of play would not slow the Knights down as they would go on to expand their lead to 25-19 for the win.

UCF junior McKenna Melville was the key player of the match for the Knights in the win, striking for 20 kills while hitting at a strong .452 percent on the night. Melville was unanimously tabbed the American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year in early January. In two matches this season, she has 33 kills, 11 digs, five blocks and is hitting at a .385 clip.

The Black and Gold will once again take on UNF at home on Sunday, Jan. 31. The match is set for a 5:00 p.m. start time.

[On the team]
"We're becoming less tentative; we're taking more courageous shots and we're going out there with conviction. We're not afraid to be blocked."
[On preparing for another match with UNF on Sunday]
"I think we have probably about four or five different ways we can run our offense. There is a lot of different ways, different patterns we can use as the season goes on… We're going to keep testing things. We're still trying to learn ourselves… We'll just look at what they give us and do our best to take what they give us."

[On looking for progress amongst the team]
"You look for little things that don't show up on the stat sheet… There's a bunch of little things that we look for and we look for steadiness or improvement, and I think we are getting more of that. We did some things in the back row passing-wise that set us up nicely. We're going to learn against what teams some things will work and what won't, but it's a game of inches really... I was really proud of how our team adjusted on the fly tonight."
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