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KnightCap: Men’s Soccer Will Host Conference Championship

Plus: Softball sweeps the Pirates and much more

Photo: Derek Warden

We review all the action from this weekend in UCF Knights sports, and name the Knights of the Week in your latest Knight Cap:

UCF Volleyball in Omaha to Play High Point in NCAA First Round

UCF Volleyball is in Omaha for the NCAA Tournament, as they prepare to play High Point at 3:30pm on Wednesday in the 1st round. The match can be seen live on ESPN3. The winner of the match takes on No. 7 seed Purdue on Thursday. We will preview the match tomorrow, but in the meantime, we spoke with with former Knight and current ESPN+ commentator Erin Campbell about the Knights’ path:

UCF Men’s Soccer Hosting American Conference Championship

UCF Men’s Soccer will host the American Athletic Conference Championship as a result of winning their third straight regular season title at Memphis on Friday.

The Knights will open the tournament by playing rival SMU on Thursday in their semifinal at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

I preview the American Conference Tournament with Austin David who called UCF soccer matches on ESPN+ this spring and covers College, MLS and all Soccer as we talk UCF players in the MLS and NWSL.

No. 24 UCF Softball Sweeps East Carolina

UCF Softball bounced back this weekend in Greenville, sweeping a four-game series at East Carolina to improve to 29-9 overall on the season and 9-3 in American.

The dramatic game was on Friday, when UCF came back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 in 11 innings, followed by another comeback, this time from a 5-3 deficit, in the second game of a doubleheader to win 9-5.

The Knights’ pitching combo of Alea White and Gianna Mancha threw back-to-back shutouts on Saturday and Sunday, winning 4-0 and 8-0 respectively. Saturday’s win was White’s 92nd of her career, passing her head coach Cindy Ball-Malone who won 91 games as a two-time All-American at Pacific.

The next week is a big one. First, the Knights will conclude their nine-game road trip with a midweek matchup at No. 5 Florida on Wednesday night. It’s a rematch from the March 24th classic in Orlando, won by the Knights, 8-6. Following that is a showdown with Wichita State with huge American Athletic Conference regular season championship implications, as the Shockers sit atop The American with 11-1 record, two games up on UCF. - Eric Lopez

UCF Baseball Splits at Cincinnati

The UCF Baseball team split their four-game set at Cincinnati over the weekend, with the bullpen picking up both wins.

The headliner game was on Saturday, as UCF drew a program record 20 walks off Bearcat pitching en route to a 20-10 win in a game that lasted four hours and 43 minutes.

Jordan Rathbone made the conference Honor Roll for his performance over the weekend, but Josh Crouch had arguably the best day for any Knight on the weekend, mashing a pair of homers Saturday.

Although UCF is 14-18 overall, their 4-4 record in their first two weekends (both on the road) has them in 4th place in the conference behind ECU, Wichita State and Tulane. The Knights face South Florida in their conference home opening series Friday through Sunday. - Jeff Sharon

Women’s Soccer’s Season Ends with Loss to Houston

Murphy’s Law had the final word in UCF Women’s Soccer’s season finale at home against Houston.

The Knights needed to beat the Cougars to get the final spot in the American Championship, an unfamiliar position for UCF to be in at the end of the regular season. Then, Sunday’s massive rainstorms in Orlando delayed the match some seven hours to 8 p.m.

Compounding this, six UCF starters were unable to play due to various reasons, including GK Caroline DeLisle.

It was just as well, as Houston scored twice in the first eight minutes and then held off UCF the rest of the way to win, 3-1.

The Knights finished 2-4-1, their first sub-.500 finish in 21 years. After a 2-1 start, three of their losses were by one goal, and one other game was lost due to COVID.

No. 9 Men’s Tennis Wins Two More

UCF Men’s tennis collected wins over UNF Sunday and #29 Wichita State Monday, extending their record to 17-3. The Knights are 9th in the latest ITA Rankings. The victory over Wichita State was the Knights’ eighth straight over ranked opponents this year.

Gabe Decamps did not play against UNF in Singles (he won his doubles match), but in his return on Monday, he suffered a rare loss in singles - only his second of the year. He’s 16-2 on the season.

The Knights have two matches left in the regular season, on Sunday and Tuesday, against conference foes Memphis and Tulsa, before the American Championships at the USTA National Campus April 23rd-25th.

No. 17 UCF Women’s Tennis Blows Past USF 7-0

No. 17 UCF Women’s Tennis improved to 13-4 and posted their sixth sweep of the season as they dominated the rival USF Bulls 7-0.

UCF remains perfect on the home court this season, winning all ten of their matches at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus.

Up Next: At No. 4 Florida State on April 15 on ACC Network Extra - Eric Lopez

UCF Track and Field Wins Three Events in Miami

For the third meet in a row, Rayniah Jones won the 100-meter hurdles title while improving her freshman record mark to 13.11 seconds.

Kiara Lee won the triple jump with a mark of 41 feet, 7.25 inches, and finished second in the long jump with a mark of 19 feet 2.5 inches.

Up Next: UCF will be in Tom Jones Invitational in Gainesville - Eric Lopez

UCF Women’s Golf Ranked No. 28 After Winning Brickyard

The UCF Women’s Golf team won the Brickyard Invitional title on Tuesday. Three Knights earned top-10 finishes, with Ana Laura Collado placing third, Chinatsu Kobayashi finishing fifth, and freshman Camille Banzet finishing seventh.

Up Next: AAC Championships (April 18-20) at Pinehurst, North Carolina - Eric Lopez

Knights of The Week

Gino Vivi, UCF Men Soccer

Gino Vivi scored two goals at Memphis to secure the Knights’ thirdstraight AAC regular season title.

Vivi has scored 3 of his 4 goals this season in the last two matches.

Kiara Lee, Track and Field

Freshman Kiara Lee won the triple jump and finished second in the long jump in 19-2.5/5.85m at Miami.