Volleyball Wins Five-Set Thriller Against Kansas State

ORLANDO – In the match that featured 45 ties and 19 lead changes, it was the UCF volleyball team that emerged victorious against future Big XII foe Kansas State.

The crowd no doubt played a factor. Knight Nation was loud from the very beginning and the Venue stayed that way until the very end.

"I 100% absolutely fed off of Knight Nation tonight," Head Coach Todd Dagenais said. "Every emotional swing came from them. Our players fed off of it. Does this match go differently on the road? Maybe. But that's a match where the crowd really helps you. I commend Knight Nation for coming out. I hope they continue to come out and bring the energy."

The Knights dropped the first set 25-20. It was a closely contested set with 11 lead changes. The Wildcats used a 4-1 run to take the set.

The second set was another back-and-forth affair. UCF cleaned up its errors and upped its hitting percentage to .444 after hitting .111 in the first. After a beautiful set from Amber Olson, Abby Hansen ended the set with a kill to knot things up at one apiece.

The third set was filled with momentum swings and emotional swings. Just when UCF thought they went up two sets to one, a replay review changed the call. After trading points back and forth, Kansas State eventually took the set to go up 2-1.

In the fourth set, with their backs against the wall, the Knights were down 10-7. They rattled off a 5-1 run to re-take the lead.

Up 19-18, the Knights would take six of the next nine points to clinch the fourth set, sending it into a winner take all race to 15 fifth set.

UCF raced out to a 5-2 lead in the fifth set and forced a Kansas State timeout. Kansas State would make a mini-run to make it 8-7, but the Knights would take three of the next four points to take an 11-8 lead forcing another Wildcat timeout.

McKenna Melville had a team-high in kills, but none were bigger than her 26th and final kill as it would end the game. UCF would complete the comeback and take down Kansas State 3-2 to move to 2-0 on the year.

Chloe Scheer led the team in digs with 21, and Abby Hansen led the lead in blocks with five.

The Knights will be off until Friday, when they take on UNCW in the first match of the UCF Invitational.

The All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP is listed below.

Tournament MVP: McKenna Melville
All-Tournament Team:
McKenna Melville
Claudia Dillon
Abby Hansen
Chloe Scheer
Kansas State:
Elena Baka
MacKenzie Morris
Viktoriia Lokhmanchuk

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