This past week of UCF Knights sports saw both Men’s and Women’s Soccer competing on the road and Volleyball competing against three more non-conference opponents in The Venue. Plus, we name the Knight of the Week and the Knights Play of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for Wednesday, September 14th, 2022.
Volleyball Stays Undefeated
The UCF Volleyball team maintained its undefeated record after winning all three of its matches in the UCF Invitational.
In the second of the three matches, on Saturday, the Knights’ matchup with the Miami Hurricanes drew the second-highest attendance for a regular season match ever at The Venue. The 1,429 spectators got their money's worth as UCF triumphed over the Hurricanes, in a five-set thriller.
Outside hitter McKenna Melville and right-side Kari Zumach each tallied 19 kills in the match to lead the team. Melville also led the team with 14 digs, followed by libero Chloe Scheer with 13. Middle Blocker Abby Hansen tallied nine blocks.
After a five-match home stretch to open the season, the team will hit the road for the first time this season to take part in the Jayhawk Classic Tournament in Lawrence, Kansas. The action begins on Thursday at 5 p.m. against Omaha, followed by a 7:30 p.m. tilt with host-team Kansas on Friday, and concludes with a 1 p.m. Saturday matchup with Lipscomb.
With 60 kills on the weekend, McKenna Melville now sits 56 kills away from the UCF Volleyball all-time career kills record.
If Melville maintains her current season average of 21.2 kills per match, she will break the record in the Knights’ match against Lipscomb.
Elsewhere in the record books, Melville tallied her 55th career solo block in Friday’s match with UNC Wilmington, entering her into a tie with Jenny Heppert for the 9th-most in program history.
Men’s Soccer wins first road match in California
The UCF Men’s Soccer team traveled out to the Golden State last weekend and picked up its first road win of the season against UC Irvine, 3-2.
With the victory, the Knights (3-1) have now won three of its first four matches for the first time since 2011, under Bryan Cunningham.
The match was a back-and-forth affair, though UCF struck first with a 14th-minute goal off of a turnover by forward Lucca Dourado with an assist from midfielder Oscar Hough.
The Anteaters tied it up with a goal in the 32nd minute, though it was shortly followed up a few minutes later by another goal from Dourado in the 38th minute. This time, the Brazilian native got assists from midfielders Mauricio Villalobos and AJ Seals.
UC Irvine tied the game up once more with a goal in the 54th minute, and the match would remain deadlocked for over twenty minutes.
Finally, in the 77th minute, defender Maël Haise sent a corner kick from forward Gino Vivi into the net for what would become the match-winning goal.
While he did give up two goals, goalkeeper Juanvi Muñoz did tally four saves in the match to prevent the Anteaters from building a lead.
Now with their first road win under their belts, the Knights continue their road trip on Saturday with a 7 p.m. match against Temple to open conference play.
Women’s Soccer Falls to #2 North Carolina
90' | It was a valiant effort but we fall to no. 2 UNC on the road. We'll bounce back!— UCF Women's Soccer (@UCF_WSoccer) September 11, 2022
The UCF Women’s Soccer team jumped out ahead early, but could not topple No. 2 North Carolina, losing 2-1.
The team did regain its head coach, as Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak returned to the team after coaching the U.S. Women’s National team in a pair of international friendlies.
The Knights even got out ahead early with a 24th-minute goal from forward Ellie Moreno with an assist from fellow forward Mallory Olsson.
However, UCF ended up being outshot by the Tar Heels, 15-7. With six of North Carolina’s shots being on goal compared to UCF’s four.
The Tar Heels tied the game up right before the half with a 44th-minute goal by forward Ally Sentnor.
After the halftime break, North Carolina forward Avery Patterson took the ball herself and drove it into the net in the 59th minute, giving the Tar Heels their first lead of the match.
The Knights got off three shots on the goal in the final ten minutes in an attempt to equalize, but could not.
While the Knights have fallen to a ranked opponent for the second consecutive match, they will have another shot at one on Sunday at 2 p.m. when they take on No. 20-ranked Texas. Before that, however, the team opens conference play at 8 p.m. on Thursday in Memphis, Tennessee with a match against the rival Tigers.
Women’s Golf opens in South Carolina
The UCF Women’s Golf team opened its fall schedule this week with the Cougar Classic.
Senior Tunrada Piddon led the team, finishing in a tie for 4th place individually with 206 (-7), tying her for the 3rd-lowest 54-hole score in program history.
Piddon was joined by a fellow Thai, true freshman Pimpisa “Sandwich” Sisutham, in the Top 30. In her Knights debut, Sisutham shot even par for the tournament (213), finishing in a tie for 26th.
As a team, the Knights took home 8th place in the tournament with 854 (+2), enough to tie for the 4th-lowest 54-hole team score in program history.
The team will follow up this performance with a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate, which tees off on Monday.
Knight of the Week
Kari Zumach — Volleyball
On the court, right-side Kari Zumach teamed up with McKenna Melville to be the top 2 Knights players in kills during the UCF Invitational.
During the match against Miami (FL), she ended up with 19 kills while hitting for a 51.6 hitting percentage. Melville hit for a 19.6 hitting percentage in that match with the same number of kills. Zumach said after the match it was the best one of her career.
She followed it up with a 12-kill performance against UIC while hitting for a 45.8 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, Melville hit for a 38.2 hitting percentage.
Meanwhile, off the court, Zumach posted a clip of her post-match press conference from the Miami (FL) match to her Twitter account. In the clip, the Indiana transfer became slightly emotional speaking about being in a positive environment with the Knights and how important it was to her. Her post received over 400 likes.
Play of the Week
McKenna Melville gets the match-winning kill to lift UCF over Miami (FL)