UCF head volleyball coach Todd Dagenais looked happy to return to the court after a leave of absence on Friday night, but his Knights could not translate that energy into a home victory, as they fell to Memphis in three sets in their second-to-last home match of the season.
Jale Hervey led UCF with 9 kills, and three players - Maddie Haggerty, Dana Faught and Jordan Pingel - recorded double-digit digs, but 26 attack errors were too much for the Knights to overcome.
Here's Dagenais post-match:
Dagenais had been away from the team tending to his ill father in Michigan since October 19th. With assistant head coach Michelle Chatman as acting head coach, the Knights managed to scrape together a five-match winning streak (including a season sweep of USF), but dropped the last three matches prior to Dagenais' return.
As is his custom, Dagenais shared some additional post-game thoughts on Twitter:
Every once in awhile we experience a night where everything goes wrong. It was one of those nights. We are undeterred, we will #ChargeOn— Todd Dagenais (@ucfvbtodd) November 21, 2015
Was just kindly reminded that more than half our team is eligible for All-Freshman team. Perspective, growth, long team development !!!— Todd Dagenais (@ucfvbtodd) November 21, 2015
Memphis out-hit the Knights .221 to .061 for the match, and won the sideout percentage battle 62%-48%. Catlin Lilly led the Tigers with 13 kills on 31 swings, while Summer Morgan had nine kills but and added four solo blocks and six block assists.
"There's going to be some nights where it's just not there, and I thought that one of those nights was tonight," Dagenais said after the match.
Memphis also out-blocked UCF 14-6.
The Knights are now 14-15 overall, and 8-9 in The American with three matches left.
The Knights will celebrate Faught, Abbie Fleener and Shelby Foyer on Senior Day in their final home match on Sunday at 2 p.m. against Cincinnati.
Fleener and Faught are seniors, but Foyer will play her final match at UCF as a junior, since she completed her bachelor's degree in just three years. Assuming tradition holds, the graduating trio will be honored following the conclusion of the match.
The Knights will then finish the season with two matches on the road next week.
- The team left Coach Dagenais a nice note on his door upon his return:
- Todd shared a video of himself catching a football at the Venue pre-match, and nearly getting himself killed in the process:
- SMU (26-3, 16-1 AAC) wrapped up the AAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with their win over UConn Friday. The Mustangs have won an incredible 16 consecutive matches en route to the first NCAA Volleyball Tournament bid in their program's history: