ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) – In arguably its most complete all-around performance of the season, the UCF volleyball team swept East Carolina (25-7, 25-11, 25-20) in The Venue Friday evening. The Knights (10-13, 7-4) extended their season-best winning streak to three with the victory, and have now won five of their last six.
The Black and Gold, wearing pink uniforms as they celebrated their pink game, displayed stifling defense as they out-dug the Pirates, 51-36. UCF also dominated at the net with 13 total blocks compared to just two for ECU. Offensively, the Knights out-killed the Pirates, 37-20, and dished out 17 more assists led by redshirt sophomore Marie Reiterova’s 28.
“East Carolina, the thing that they have going for them is that they fight hard,” head coach Todd Dagenais said after the match. “I have a lot of respect for Pati (Rolf) and her staff. It hasn’t been an easy year for them, yet they are digging in and working hard every day. I have a lot of respect for that because we’ve been there before and we know how hard it is to practice hard when you are struggling.”
The Knights were led offensively by redshirt junior Angelica Crump who blasted 11 kills and hit .346 for the match. Crump was backed by senior Evija Vilde and sophomore DeLaina Sarden who smacked eight kills apiece. Sarden showed off her two-way ability by also denying a team-high five shots. Senior Meredith Murphy extended her double-digit digs streak to a season-best 11 matches. Senior Dani Harrison was a force in the serve game as she tied a career-high with five service aces.
Friday night was also an opportunity for freshmen Kaci Thompson and Dani Jenkins to gain valuable experience after working hard all season in practice. Thompson played in two sets and registered a dig while Jenkins saw action in the final set. Redshirt sophomore Kaye-Alese Green got her second-consecutive start in the middle and responded with three kills and a pair of blocks.
The Knights will look to keep their winning streak going on Sunday as they host Marshall at noon. The Black and Gold dropped a five-setter to the Thundering Herd on Sept. 28, but can move ahead of Marshall in the C-USA standings with a victory.