Knights Edge Out Tulane, 3-1

ORLANDO – The Knights started off slow but bounced back big to secure the 3-1 victory over Tulane Friday afternoon in The Venue, moving UCF to 4-0 on the young season.

"[Tulane] tested us in ways that we haven't been tested yet," said UCF head coach Todd Dagenais. "That's why we are playing these matches. We want to play teams that test us, so when the 'final exams' start – and there are four weeks of 'final exams' in conference play – we are ready to go."

As has been on the case for serval matches early in the season for UCF, it took some time to settle in. Despite solid contributions from the reining American Athletic Conference Player of the Week McKenna Melville, who had eight kills in the first set, the Knights lost, 25-19 before battling back in the second.

After falling behind in the second set too, UCF would battle back to tie it at 11 apiece before Tulane called timeout. Following the stoppage, the Knights went on a four-point run and Tulane would call time once more, but it would not slow the Knights down as they would go on to win the second set, 25-15, to tie the match at one all.

Once settled in, UCF would find their groove in the third set, going up 11-4 before Tulane called time. The Knights kept their momentum rolling and managed to keep Tulane at bay, going on to win the set, 25-16 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Set four was a nail biter to the end as the two sides tied scores 10 different times and the lead changed hands three times. With both teams neck-and-neck until the end, UCF made a strong push late to edge out Tulane, 25-22 to win the match.

Anne-Marie Watson and McKenna Melville both notched double-digit kills in the match with 12 and 21, respectively. It was Melville's second game of the season with 20 or more kills and she has finished no match with less than 10.

Nerissa Moravec also had a nice afternoon from the middle position, turning in five kills to go along with five block assists. Moravec was efficient, hitting .400 when attacking.

UCF will do battle with The Green Wave once more on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in The Venue.


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