It was quite the weekend for the UCF volleyball team as it held off Stephen F. Austin in five sets (25-22, 25-15, 20-25, 23-25, 15-6) on Saturday for its third-straight victory of the weekend in the Holiday Inn Select UCF Classic. The Knights (6-1) were named tournament champions for their perfect record at The Venue at UCF.
UCF 3, Stephen F. Austin 2
Junior DeLaina Sarden was named tournament MVP after recording 36 kills, 14 blocks and hitting a stellar .508 in three matches. Sarden also set a new-career high with 20 kills in the championship match. Others named to the all-tournament team included freshman Taylor Gallart for her 35 kills, and junior setter Marie Reiterova who tallied 135 assists.
“We got into one of those matches where we got punched back pretty hard,” head coach Todd Dagenais said. “Even though we were up 2-0, we knew those two sets were really close. The thing Stephen F. Austin did so well is breakdown our serve/receive game. We going to shore that up, but I’m really excited that we still hit for some great numbers offensively.”
The Knights had a season-high four hitters top double-digit kills and clubbed another strong .356 team hitting percentage. Senior Angelica Crump led all players with a season-high 22 kills on a .348 attack percentage. Junior Kaye-Alese Green was a quiet force in the middle, tying her career-high with 10 kills on 16 swings (.375) and denying three shots at the net.
UCF continues to limit its opponents on offense, holding the Jacks (5-2) to a .187 hitting percentage, including .105 in the deciding fifth frame. Leading the way on the defensive end was junior Jade Hayes who totaled 22 digs. Backing Hayes up on the back line was senior Roxy Mendez who tallied a career-high 15 digs.
The Knights hit the road for the first time in the 2013 season next weekend as they travel to Atlanta, Ga., for the Georgia State Invitational. The Black and Gold will play Clemson, Davidson, Buffalo and tournament host Georgia State over two days.
UCF Classic Standings
UCF Classic All-Tournament Team