Jan. 18, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The chance for nine-straight top-five national finishes and a third national championship for the UCF cheerleading team was strengthened Saturday as the squad advanced to the finals of the College Cheerleading National Championships held at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
In front of a packed crowd inside the HP Field House, the cheer team went on stage just after 8:44 p.m. in the Division IA semi-finals. The squad brought the raucous group of fans to its feet at the completion of its routine.
After all 18 teams performed, the Knights found themselves in third place and advanced to the national finals along with Kentucky, Memphis, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Washington State, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State, Alabama, Cincinnati and Iowa.
The Knights, who won national championships in 2003 and 2007, will take to the floor first on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. as they look for their third national title in the last 11 seasons. Each team will have a clean slate as Saturday's rankings do not carry over.
Not to be outshined, the KnightMoves dance team also advanced to Sunday's IA finals. 18 teams competed in this event, which saw half the field eliminated as nine teams advanced to the finals this season. That ensures that the KnightMoves will at least tie for the second-best finish in hip hop dance in school history as the dance team finished eighth in 2008.
The nine schools making up the finals in Division IA Hip Hop are UCF, Tennessee, UNLV, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Memphis, LSU and FAU. The Division IA Hip Hop Dance Finals begin at noon at the Wide World of Sports HP Fieldhouse.
Also on Saturday, ESPN reporter and former Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Nastia Liukin spoke to team members Jacob Serre, Joel Wadzinski, Tyler Peterson and Jennifer Ambrose to discuss the incredible year that the UCF cheerleading squad has experienced; from the trip to Paris, to the Fiesta Bowl win and preparations for nationals.
Admission for tomorrow's final is $30 and that will provide all-day access to the HP Fieldhouse at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Tickets for this event are only available at ESPN Wide World of Sports ticket booths.
If you can't make it to Disney, you can still catch the finals LIVE on http://varsity.com/event/1536/college_live_stream for $19.99.
Fans can also get all the latest news and information on the Knights' final day of competition directly from the UCF cheerleading squad by following them on Twitter at @UCF_CheerTeam.