Knights Sweep Cincinnati, Claim First in Division

ORLANDO – The UCF volleyball team took sole possession of first place in the American Athletic conference East Division with a convincing 3-0 sweep over conference rivals Cincinnati Friday afternoon in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Knights won every set by a margin of at least eight points. The sweep marked the Knights' first over the Bearcats since November 3, 2017 and moved UCF to 11-1 on the year and 5-0 in conference play. The loss bumped Cincinnati down to second place in the East division standings as they now hold a 4-1 record in conference play.

"We just stayed in rhythm all game," said head coach Todd Dagenais. "It reflects the kind of week we had in practice… and I was just really happy to see the team carry that over to this match."

The win also marked the Knights' seventh sweep of the season. UCF has only dropped seven out of 40 sets in 2020-21 and only four sets in their victories.

The UCF offense was firing on all cylinders in the contest as the Knights hit .425 as a team, their highest hitting percentage in a match this season.

Coach Dagenais also spread the ball around as five different Knights had at least six kills in the match in McKenna Melville (13), Nerissa Moravec (7), MaKenzie Chambers (7), Tali Marmen (6) and Anne-Marie Watson (6).

"We really feel like we had our most mature match, especially our right-side hitters. They went out and did their job. They want up and got the kills, got the blocks, forced errors, they didn't make plays that were out of our system," said Dagenais. "They just really played steady and mature and I thought that showed in their statistics.

"We just have to come in tomorrow with that same business-like attitude and know we just have to be who we are going to be and make adjustments as we have to."

The Knights will play one more at Cincinnati on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
[On taking first place in the conference]:
"This was only match number five of an eight-match conference season. All today's win does is give us a chance tomorrow to take another step toward our goals. We look at this as really halftime of a bigger match, and we'll make our halftime adjustments and come out even stronger in the second half."

[On the offensive efficiency and spreading the ball around]:
"The setters were doing a fantastic job of setting where there were as few blockers at the net as possible… Five of our six hitters really posted big-time numbers today, and it would have been six out of six, but we just couldn't get the ball to Kathryn [Wesolich] as much as we wanted to, but she showed out in other areas of the game like she always does… For us to go out and have balanced numbers through five different attackers, not many teams can do that."

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