UCF’s Season Comes to a Close Following Five-Set Loss to No. 13 UCLA

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The UCF volleyball team's (27-7) incredible season came to a close Saturday night following a five-set heartbreaker to No. 13 UCLA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with scores of 27-25, 13-25, 25-19, 22-25, 7-15 ending a 17-game winning streak.
After a win over No. 25 Pepperdine in four-sets on Friday night, the Knights advanced to the second round for the fourth time in program history and the second under head coach Todd Dagenais in the last three years (2021, 2019, 2003, 1997). In the last three second round appearances, the Knights lost in three sets, making this the first time UCF forced extra sets and had a chance to win.
"I am so proud of my team, they stepped up and they fought," head coach Todd Dagenais said, "This was two really determined, hardworking teams going at it. I wish UCLA the very best moving forward."
McKenna Melville picked up her 19th double-double of the season with 14 kills and 14 digs while adding six blocks. She totaled 617 kills this season, which is fifth all-time in history. Heidi Bonde notched 12 kills with two blocks and Claudia Dillon grabbed 11 kills and six blocks.
The blocking duo of Nerissa Moravec and Anne-Marie Watson put up nine and six blocks respectively. Moravec recorded 154 block assists this season, tying the program record with Watson.
Amber Olson tallied 44 assists and four blocks while the backrow all had double-digit digs: Katelyn Grimes led with 13, Chloe Scheer had 12, and Dresden Pass grabbed 11.
The Knights set the tone early with a 4-0 run to lead 5-2 in the first. UCLA came back to tie quickly at 6-6 and took the lead at 10-9. UCF was able to hold a slight lead until the Bruins tied it back up at 19-19. From there, the two teams traded points, but it was Bonde who sealed the set win with a block solo to win, 27-25.
UCLA got out to a 6-0 lead in the second set and did not look back. The Knights kept the fight with a pair of 3-0 runs, but the Bruins took the second in 25-13.
Despite a 1-6 deficit to start the third, UCF used two runs to tie it up at 10. The two teams battled back and forth but a 5-0 run gave the Knights a 19-16 lead and the Bruins could not catch them. UCF took the third set, 25-19, to lead 2-1 heading into the fourth set.
The Knights kept the momentum going leading 11-6 in the fourth, but the Bruins worked their way back with a 7-0 run to take the lead 15-13. UCF quickly tied it up and took the lead 16-15. UCLA followed suit with a 3-0 run and the Knights couldn't catch them as the Bruins took the fourth in 25-22 to tie the match 2-2.
Melville and Bonde racked up the most points for the Knights in the fifth, but it wasn't quite enough as the Bruins took the fifth set in 15-7 to win the match and advance.
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