ALBANY, N.Y. – UCF wrapped up its participation at the UAlbany Volleyball Classic Sunday afternoon with a tidy 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-17) victory over UAlbany inside the Albany Capital Center.
The Knights (3-0) brought a solid all-around performance for the last match of the weekend. UCF hit a stout .366 with 45 kills on 93 attempts and only 11 errors while forcing the Great Danes (1-2) into 17 attacking miscues on 82 swings for a .061 percentage. The Black and Gold also racked up 41 digs, four total blocks and six service aces, winning the stat sheet battle in all three categories.
“As the newness of the season passes and you get to the final day of a tournament the focus becomes more centered on finishing strong,” said head coach Jenny Maurer. “It’s especially challenging after putting up such strong performances the first two days from everyone. It takes a mature team to perform as consistently as we did throughout the weekend and maintain our composure as teams made adjustments.”
Junior outside hitter Heidi Bonde was spectacular offensively, notching a match-high 14 kills and just two errors to fire at a .522 clip. Freshman outside hitter Avah Armour recorded eight kills and five digs, while Abby Hansen and Emily Wilson tallied eight kills each. Senior libero Chloe Scheer paced the defense with nine digs. Redshirt freshman setter Abby Schomers chipped in with 37 assists and six digs. Graduate Claudia Dillon added six kills and six digs.
"I feel that as a new team and new season, we played well this weekend," added Dillon. "Abby Schomers did a good job as a setter running the offense in her first few games as a Knight."
A kill from Bonde sparked a 6-0 scoring run in the first set, as the junior recorded three of the six points during the stretch. The Knights kept a steady lead throughout the first set gaining as much as a 10-point advantage at 17-7 with a kill from Hansen. Bonde wrapped up the first set with a kill from the outside to give UCF a 1-0 lead in the match.
The sides battled to a 10-10 deadlock in the second set before the Knights went on on a 6-1 rally to gain some breathing room. The Black and Gold continued to extend their lead all the way to 20-13 before rolling to the 10-point victory in the set and 2-0 match lead.
The Knights raced out to a quick 3-0 lead in the third frame. UAlbany chipped away at UCF’s lead with a 5-0 run at 12-9 but back-to-back kills from Bonde and Hansen proved too much for the Great Danes to handle. Bonde continued to fire away with three consecutive kills to give UCF a seven-point advantage, 17-10, eventually winning the stanza by eight points to steal the sweep.
UCF opens its home schedule Thursday afternoon, welcoming FIU to The Venue for the first match of the 2023 UCF Challenge. First serve is scheduled for noon.