Knights Clinch One Seed with Sweep Over Bearcats

ORLANDO – Nerissa Moravec and her 11 blocks were a force to be reckoned with at the net on Saturday as UCF made quick work of Cincinnati for the second straight day, sweeping the Bearcats 3-0 at their place to move to 12-1, 6-0 on the season.

With the win, the Knights clinched the number one seed in the American Athletic Conference East Division for the conference tournament in April. As such, UCF will play the number two seed in the West division on April 2 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"We wanted to come up here and leave with a couple of wins and we were able to do that against a Cincinnati team who I think is a tremendous opponent," said head coach Todd Dagenais. "This was the most complete weekend we have played yet."

The Knights' defense was instrumental in the win as the black and gold posted a season-high 15 total blocks en route to the sweep.

Senior middle blocker Nerissa Moravec led the charge with 11 block assists, tying her career high as she also had 11 stuffs against Tulsa on November 22, 2019. Moravec's 11 blocks are the most in program history in a three-set match in the rally-scoring era. Moravec also contributed on the offensive side of the ball as she knocked down eight kills, hitting at a .727 mark in the match.

While the Knights looked strong all match, they were at their best in the final set. After falling behind early, UCF went on a 9-0 scoring run in the set to go up 12-8. The Knights would not relinquish their lead from there, going on to win the final set, 25-17, securing the sweep.

The win marked the Knights' eighth sweep of the season. UCF has only dropped seven out of 43 sets in 2020-21 and only four sets in their victories.

"This was more the type of match that I thought we were going to have as opposed to yesterday," said Dagenais. "This could have been a four or five-set match, easily. We just won some really key points at important times."

The Knights will enjoy a week off before returning home to close out the regular season with a two-match series against South Florida from March 26-27.
[On Moravec and the 15 team blocks]:
"Nerissa, both offensively and defensively, had a great day. I thought she was very stable and very disciplined, and she put herself in great position to take away the type of shots Cincinnati wanted to try to hit against us. I thought she had a tremendous day and I'm pretty happy with how she did."

[On the break before closing out the season against South Florida at home]:
"This is still a growing team and we feel like we aren't quite to where we think we can be yet, to no fault of our own other than just needing more time. So, we have a week to work on some stuff and hopefully become a little more versatile in our offensive game and work on our discipline with our defense. There's still a lot of things we can work on so this bye week comes at a really nice time for us."

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