Knights Set to Host UCF Challenge

UCF vs. Syracuse
Friday, Sept. 2 | 7:00 p.m.
UCF vs. Kansas State
Saturday, Sept. 3 | 7:00 p.m.

ORLANDO - The UCF Volleyball team will open its 2022 season tomorrow, Friday Sept. 2, as the Knights play their first match of the season at The Venue while they host the UCF Challenge.
The Knights open up against Syracuse on Friday, followed by Kansas State on Saturday. Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+.
The four-time defending American Athletic Conference Champions were selected to win league for a fifth year in a row.  The Knights picked up 10 out of 11 first-place votes. It's the fifth time UCF has been voted as the favorite to win the conference as they were tabbed as favorites in 2015, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

McKenna Melville was unanimously selected as Preseason Player of the Year. Melville, as well as Amber Olson, Claudia Dillon were selected to the preseason all-conference team.
The Knights look to build off a historic 2021 season that saw a conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They finished 27-7 overall and 19-1 in conference play.


The Knights open the weekend against Syracuse on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Orange are 2-1 so far this season with win a 3-1 win over Campbell and a 3-2 win over Wofford. Their lone loss came against Charlotte.

They have 158 kills through three games for an average of 13.2 per set. They average 1.6 blocks per set and have 19 on the season. They average 1.3 aces per set as well.

Next on the docket for the Black and Gold is Kansas State Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Wildcats are 3-0 with Sam Houston State, NC State, and Florida A&M. They've only dropped one set so far this season.

Kansas State is a strong team all around; it averages 2.3 aces per set, 3.2 blocks per set, and 13.2 kills per set.


[On facing Syracuse]
"Syracuse comes in with a new coach this year but a lot of returning players. Some of the ones that are doing some great things for them are their international players. They have two really good international outside hitters. They've got size, they do a lot of things for them blocking, defense, serving, an passing. They're going to bring in some experience, they're going to bring in some international experience. Bakeer Ganesharatnam has put together a nice roster. They went 2-1 last weekend, so it's clear they're ready for the season. They're going to be a nice opening challenge for us to get an idea of where we are right now as a group."

[On facing Kansas State]
"Kansas State brings in experience. They are an NCAA tournament team. They've gone far into the NCAA tournament before. They have a mix of international and home-grown kids. They're 3-0 for a reason. They hit over .300 as a team and they're holding their opponents to hitting under .050. Offensively they're a juggernaut. Defensively they lead the Big 12 and blocking and they're up there in kill percentage. It's going to be a challenging team for us to go against because I think in some ways they're a lot like us. You look at them and you're looking at a prolific offense, at one of the nation's top blocking and defensive teams Their serving is the other thing. They had 23 aces in the first week that's 2.3 per set. That's extremely good. They're going bring it at us bring it to us from all different areas."

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