Spring Fling Tournament Set for this Weekend

March 20, 2014

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By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team continues its spring schedule this Saturday with the annual Spring Fling tournament at The Venue. The event is once again a benefit for the Central Florida chapter of Hands and Voices which is a charity that supports families of deaf and hard of hearing children.

Last week, UCF took on Jacksonville in a five-set match at The Villages. The Knights ran a 6-2 formation with a starting lineup of setters Marie Reiterova and Dana Faught, opposites Loren Cory and Abbie Fleener, middle blockers DeLaina Sarden and Taylor Wickey, outside hitters Taylor Gallart and Ashley Gialenios and libero Jade Hayes.

American Athletic Conference Second Teamer, Kaye-Alese Green did not participate as she is recovering from an early spring injury. Green has, however, returned to practice.

The Black and Gold took a 4-1 lead in the first set on a Hayes ace. JU battled back and tied it at 8-8 before UCF pushed it back to 15-11 on a Sarden kill. The Knights got a kill from Gialenios to extend its lead to 20-13 before finishing off a 25-17 win in the first set.

“I was very happy with the way we controlled the tempo of the first set. Playing at a quick pace is something we’ve been working on for the first few days of spring training and I thought we did really well. I was really excited how we controlled the beginning of each set, but we need to work on keeping out foot on the gas and executing small things when teams are trying to close the gap.”

In set two, the Knights featured Natalie Melcher at outside hitter and Sarah Nemes at setter. The Knights jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, but JU again tied things up at 8. The Dolphins went up 19-14 and rattled off five in a row to go up 24-14, eventually winning 25-16.

The third and fourth sets were a mix of starters and reserves and saw JU win 26-24 and 28-26. The Dolphins also took down the fifth set, 15-9, with mostly reserves playing. The Knights hit .276 (56-134) while Jacksonville came in at .245 (62-147).

Wickey and Sarden shined in the middle all evening long. Wickey had 10 kills on 13 swings for a .769 attack percentage. Sarden had 15 kills with just one error on 24 swings for a .583 clip. Gialenios chipped in nine kills while Gallart, Fleener and Cory each came up with seven.

“I thought we set our offense faster than what we ever have before. Our fast pace was difficult for them to stop, but they also set in areas we struggled not only to block, but to defend. We know we have a lot of work we need to do in our transition game. This was a great match for us, Jacksonville has been in a 20 hour a week training since January. I like where we are and we’re definitely heading in the right direction this weekend.”

The Knights will return home this weekend for their annual spring fling tournament. Each team is scheduled for four (4) two-set matches.  An admission of $5 will be charged and all proceeds with go to the Florida Chapter of Hands and Voices

9:00 a.m.
UCF vs. Florida Southern                  
West Florida vs. Tampa                                
Off team: USF 

10:10 a.m.              
UCF vs. USF                                      
West Florida vs. Florida Southern                
Off team: Tampa 

11:20 a.m.              
West Florida vs. USF                        
Tampa vs. Florida Southern                          
Off team: UCF 


1:30 p.m.                
UCF vs. West Florida                        
Tampa vs. USF                                              
Off team: Florida Southern 

2:40 p.m.                
UCF vs. Tampa                                                
Florida Southern vs. USF                              
Off team: West Florida 

3:50 p.m.                
OPEN for Challenge                          
OPEN for Challenge



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