Volleyball Sweeps Syracuse to Start Season

ORLANDO – The UCF volleyball team started off both their season and their first match in the UCF Challenge in style, defeating the Syracuse Orange in straight sets on Friday at The Venue.
Fifth-year McKenna Melville had a historic night. She recorded her 2,000th Kill in the second set of tonight's match. The Eagan, Minn. joins Renata Menchikova (1995-97 / 2,151) in reaching the historic mark and is likely to break the record later this season. On the night she had 19 kills, seven in the final third set, to go along with two blocks.
The first set went into a tiebreaker and following four lead changes, Melville finished the Orange off to give the game 28-26 to the Knights. The Black and Gold progressed through each set, winning the first in a tiebreaker, the second by five and the third and final set by 14.
"I'm really happy with how we communicated with each other especially in that first and second set when things were crazy," Head Coach Todd Dagenias said. "I love how we stayed calm and spoke to each other clearly and concisely. I think that brought out the best in everybody."
Along with the improving play, the Knights took charge in the second set with a match high five aces. Katelyn Grimes had three of her four in the set, to go along with two from Chloe Scheer.
The third set was the most commanding from UCF, with only two lead changes. The Knights took a 6-5 lead off a Melville kill and never looked back. Claudia Dillon, who led the team in blocks with five, got an ace to finish off the 4-0 stretch that won the match.
Abby Hansen (6) along with both Kari Zumach (5) and Emily Wilson (5) led UCF in kills behind the 19-kill performance. Amber Olson had 32 of the Knights 35 assists in the match to go along with two blocks.
UCF will look to move to 2- on Saturday as they face Kansas State at 7 p.m. at The Venue.
The Game will be streamed on ESPN+.