Knights Advance to Conference Championship Match

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UCF vs Temple
Saturday, April 3 | 3:00 PM
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ORLANDO – The UCF volleyball team is knocking on the doorstep of its third straight conference title as the Knights secured their spot in the championship match with a five-set, nail biter of a victory over Tulane Friday afternoon in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Knights had to fight for it Friday afternoon in the semifinal match, going a full five sets with Tulane before UCF ultimately came out the victors, 3-2.
The black and gold move on to the championship match, where they are set to take on Temple at 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

"I give our team credit," said head coach Todd Dagenais. "We weathered the storm that was the first set, we kind of snuck our way through the second set, then found a way to go up 2-1, and then the fourth set just wasn't going to go our way, but we were already preparing for how we were going to handle that fifth set, and that's just what we did.
"This was a match that we could easily have lost, but we chose not to. I really believe that… and I give a lot of credit to Tulane for how they played us."
After posting a perfect, 8-0 record against American opponents in the regular season, outscoring them 24-1 along the way, the Knights were faced with one of their biggest challenges of the season in Tulane on Friday.
Tulane (10-10) raced out to an early lead against UCF (15-1), hitting .419 in the first set to take the advantage by a 25-19 score. The Knights battled back to take a competitive second set 25-21 thanks to a 5-0 run at the end of the frame. The Green Wave looked poised for a 2-1 match lead ahead 24-22 in the third set but UCF roared back, scoring the final four points for a 26-24 set three victory. Tulane would not be denied and forced a fifth set with a 25-22 win in the fourth game.

The Knights were dominant in the final set, jumping out to an early 5-2 lead to force a Tulane timeout, but the stoppage would not slow UCF's momentum as the Knights came out of it to outscore the Green Wave 3-1 and force another timeout. Up 8-3, the Knights put the finishing touches on a hard-fought performance as they went on to win the set, 15-9, and the match, 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 26-24, 22-25, 15-9)
McKenna Melville led the way for the Knights with 21 kills and 19 digs, hitting .239 in the win. Nerissa Moravec hit. 353 for and chipped in six kills and five blocks, while right side hitter Anne-Marie Watson contributed 11 kills.

Following the win, the Knights had to wait before they would  see who they would play in the championship match as Houston and Temple were set to play at 5:00 p.m. Temple would go on to upset Houston, 3-1 to move on to the championship match.
The Knights faced Temple twice earlier in the season, sweeping them twice at their place. UCF is 12-6 all-time against the Owls.
Semifinals - Friday, April 2
No. 1 UCF (East) 3, No. 2 Tulane (West) 2 (19-25, 25-21, 26-24, 22-25, 15-9)
No. 2 Temple (East) 3, No. 1 Houston (West) 1 (18-15, 25-23, 25-14, 25-18)

Final - Saturday, April 3
No. 1 UCF (East) vs. No. 2 Temple (East) – 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT (ESPN+)


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