Knights Sweep Memphis in Conference Road Opener

MEMPHIS, Tenn.— The UCF volleyball team (9-0) began AAC play in style on Friday night, defeating Memphis (10-4) in three sets (25-21, 25-19, 25-22) at Larry O. Finch Center.

"No matter what, no matter where you stand, the conference opener is always going to be a slugfest. It's going to be down in the mud and it's going to be dirty and that's kind of what this one was," UCF head coach Todd Dagenais said. 

 "We didn't play great. I thought Memphis played really well they had an amazing crowd tonight. They packed the gym and they were loud. I'm sure that had an effect on the game as well. But I think it was just an uncomfortable match for us."

The first set UCF took the first point then Memphis answered back with a kill to tie it up, 1-1. The Knights took back the lead with an attack error from the Tigers. Memphis took a four point run at the 15th point but couldn't keep up with the Knight who continued to lead the entire set.

Dagenais said, "we never found a way to get comfortable. We weren't really firing on all cylinders. It seemed like it was hard to score."

The second set started out close featuring four ties. The Black and Gold went on a 4-0 run in the middle of the set to go up 14-9.

In the third set, Memphis took the lead for the first time, 3-2. The Knights fought back with a 3-0 run to take the lead and held onto it for the remainder of the match.

"Memphis has one of the top liberos in the conference, and whenever she was in you knew she was going to be everywhere and pick everything up. Now, with that said, we went out there and we took care of business being on the road. There were a lot of things stacked against us but ultimately we were able to pull away when we needed to," said Dagenais.

McKenna Melville and Abby Hansen led the offense with a combined 28 kills. Melville added in 10 digs along with one block assist. Hansen contributed one dig and two block assists.
Kari Zumach had a big night as well, putting up nine kills. Amber Olson continued to help out the Knight's offense with 43 assists.

The Knights will be back in action Sunday afternoon as they travel to SMU with first serve slated for 2 p.m. ET at Moody Coliseum.