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Knight Cap: Volleyball clinches AAC Championship, Women’s Hoops Rebounds

One Last Knight Cap for 2021. Happy Holidays!

Alisha Lewis
Photo: Noah Goldberg

The past week of UCF Knights sports saw one team win its fourth straight conference championship, and another team rebound from its first loss of the season. Plus, we name the Knight of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for Tuesday, November 23.

Volleyball sweeps final home matches; clinches AAC Title

The UCF Volleyball team clinched a share of its fourth consecutive American Athletic Conference championship Friday night after sweeping Temple in The Venue. Two days later, the team clinched the title outright after Houston lost to SMU in four sets (27-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-23).

Jeff Sharon and Bryson Turner break all this down in an individual article that can be found here.

Women’s Basketball holds off Belmont

(For all the details about the Women’s Basketball team’s 59-38 win over Virginia on Wednesday, check out Eric Lopez’s article)

The UCF Women’s Basketball team rebounded from a low-scoring first half to beat Belmont, 57-45 on Sunday in Addition Financial Arena.

After going into the half down 18-14 with a 19.4 percent field goal percentage and coming up with nothing behind the arc, the team came out in the second half and outscored the Bruins 43-27, shooting 68% from the floor, including four three-pointers courtesy of junior guard Alisha Lewis.

Lewis finished with 14 points, and senior guard Diamond Battles led the team with 16 points, 12 of them coming from going a perfect six for six from the free-throw line.

“After having a rough first half, I got encouragement from my teammates and my coaches and that really helped me in the 2nd half to make my shots and have confidence,” Lewis said after the game.

Fifth-year senior forward Masseny Kaba led the team with rebounds with eight, and three others had seven.

The team will need their passports for their next two match-ups as they travel to the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico for the Cancun Challenge. First up is a Black Friday matchup at 6:30 p.m. against Idaho State, followed by a 4 p.m. match the next day against USC.

Knight of the Week

Kathryn Wesolich, Volleyball

Wesolich is in the UCF Volleyball record books with a tie for the most block assists in a single match, the third-most block assists in a season, tied for ninth for the most total blocks in a season, and she is one block assist away from passing Amanda Stoutjesdyk for the 7th-most block assists in a career.

Unfortunately for her, Anne-Marie Watson and Nerissa Moravec, arguably the greatest blockers in this program’s history since Tyra Harper, and Claudia Dillon, a transfer from Missouri, were on the same team.

Head coach Todd Dagenais called Wesolich the “most unselfish” player he ever coached.

“This year probably wasn’t the year of playing that she wanted, but not once, not once, was there a complaint,” Dagenais said. “ I’m sure she wasn’t happy about it, but not once does she do something to draw attention to herself. If anything, she was talking to [Moravec], ‘You got this,’ she was talking to [Dillon], ‘You got that.’”

The senior middle blocker saw the court this week for the first time in exactly a month in the USF match, but it was her Senior Night performance against Temple that puts her as this week’s Knight of the Week, at least from an on-the-court perspective.

She made her first ace since Sept. 11, got three more block assists, inching closer to No. 7 on the all-time career block assists list, and got six kills, tied with Watson for the third-most of the match, with a 75 percent attack percentage. She took advantage of every shot she had.

While Dagenais alluded to it in his press conference after the USF match, Wesolich was officially revealed to have entered the transfer portal on Thursday.

We’ve had McKenna Melville, Nerissa Moravec, and Anne-Marie Watson as Knights of the Week before, and I think anyone that’s followed UCF Volleyball for the last several years knows plenty of who these players are and what they’ve accomplished. So, this last Knight Cap of 2021 shines a light on a great Senior Knight performance and a player that took advantage of the limited opportunities she had, and will hopefully find success as a starter elsewhere.

For more of what Dagenais had to say about Wesolich, skip to the 13:31 of the senior’s press conference after the Temple match: