UCF completes second-straight C-USA sweep
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 14:10
In one of the team’s best all-around season performances, the Knights defeated the East Carolina Pirates 3-0 (25-7, 25-11, 25-20) on Friday. The win allowed the 10-13 Knights to move up to fourth in the conference, putting them one seat higher as the Conference USA playoffs approach.
The Knights were happy to dig pink this weekend in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Whether or not it was the change in uniform that brought a new sense of immediacy to the Knights is unclear, but there was definitely a change in the team’s pace going into the match.
The Knights played with a sense of urgency, coming out powerful right from the get go and not taking their usual time to get into the groove, but rather throwing themselves in full force. This proved to be successful in the first set, during which the Knights easily beat the Pirates 25-7, the biggest point difference the Knights have earned this season.
Going into the second set, the Knights showed off their newfound dynamism, changing the pace with every play. From roll hits to power spikes, they caught the Pirates off guard with nearly every play. East Carolina just couldn’t handle the heat nor the tight Knight defense, proving so as it shanked passes and hit more balls out than in.
The second set came just as easily as the first, and the Knights won 25-10. In the third set, the Knights had a more difficult time than the first two sets, but they still pulled out a win and sealed the victory with a final score 25-20.
“I thought we did a nice job of dominating,” head coach Todd Dagenais said. “It’s something we’ve been waiting to do all year long, pretty much a first serve to last serve kind of thing. I thought we did a really good job of staying on our marks and we were extremely disciplined in our defense.”
The Knights showed up the Pirates in both offense and defense, out-digging them 51-36 and out-killing them 37-10. Standout players for the Knights were senior Dani Harrison with five service aces and seven digs, and redshirt junior Angelica Crump with 11 kills.
Redshirt sophomore Marie Reiterova was also a huge factor in the win and had 26 assists for the Knights.
“We came out strong,” Crump said. “Our coach said, ‘Don’t start slow,’ so it was the first time we really started hard. We communicated well and really played as a team.”
The Knights will travel to Houston next weekend to take on both Rice University and the University of Houston in two conference matches.