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Top UCF Teams of the 2010s: Part 1

We begin our sport-by-sport look at the best UCF teams of the decade

Photo Courtesy: UCF Athletics

We’ve got another countdown for you, as we re-ramp up our look at UCF Knights history during this time without sports.

The 2010s were a decade of tremendous transition for UCF, including the move from Conference USA to The American, as well as Danny White’s total modernization of the athletic department with his arrival in 2015. The results speak for themselves.

Here is the first of a three-part look at the best individual year’s team for each UCF sport:

Cross Country: 2014

Cross Country: IAAF World Championships-Senior Women
Anne-Marie Blaney, who used to compete for UCF, after competing for Team USA in the the senior women’s race of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the Moesgaard Museum in 2019.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cross Country finished 4th in the American Athletic Conference Championships, which matched the previous year’s result for best finish of the decade. UCF ended up finishing 14th in the NCAA South Regional.

Anne-Marie Blaney led the way as she was All-AAC that year, second of her three All-Conference honors during her career. Blaney finished 4th in the NCAA South Regional, which helped the Knights achieve their high team finish.

Men’s Tennis: 2019

UCF would have a 13-9 season, clinching the #1 seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The Knights would sweep SMU and Wichita State on their way to the finals, but would fall to South Florida 4-3 in the championship match.

The Knights earned an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. They traveled up to Gainesville, where they would face Florida State.

It was a neck and neck battle throughout and came down to a third set on court three with the match tied 3-3. The Seminoles would prevail as UCF’s 2019 season had reached its end. UCF finished with highest ranking in program history at 31st in final ITA rankings.

Women’s Basketball: 2018-2019

UCF went 26-7 on the season, finishing second in The American in the regular season behind UConn and reaching The American Championship Game for the first time in program history. Kay Kay Wright was named to The American All-Conference First Team and Kayla Thigpen was tabbed as the league’s Sixth Player of the Year.

UCF would make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large for first time in program history as a 12-seed, playing Arizona State in Coral Gables. It was the first time UCF made NCAA Tournament since 2011.

For a program-best six straight weeks, UCF was receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today/WBCA Top 25. The Knights again received votes in both polls the last four weeks of the season.

Women’s Golf: 2019

For just the second time in program history, the Knights’ Women’s Golf program punched their ticket to the National Championships. UCF won a pair of tournaments during the season - one at the Princess Anne Invitational and another at the Moon Golf Invitational. UCF had four top-five finishes, including second at The American Championship. Freshman Elizabeth Moon took home two individual titles and finished second in two other tournaments including the conference championships. Moon was named Freshman of the Year and Maria Balcazar was also named to the All-Conference Team.

The Knights were ranked No. 51 at the end of the regular season and earned a berth to the NCAA West Regional in Cle Elum, Wash. UCF shot eight-under on the final nine holes on the last day to head to the National Championship in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Knights finished 22nd.

Rowing: 2017

UCF’s Rowing Head Coach Becky Cramer guided the Knights to their third consecutive American Athletic Conference title, sweeping all six events in Sarasota. Just two weeks later, making their third straight NCAA appearance, UCF posted its highest team finish in program history at 18th overall. The UCF staff earned its third American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year in 2017. The Varsity Eight collected the league’s Boat of the Year distinction, marking the third consecutive season that a UCF boat earned the honor.