Before Hurricane Ian paid Florida a visit, the past week of UCF Knights sports saw one team continue their undefeated start, another begin its fall season and another stumble in conference play.
Plus, we name the Knights of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for Friday, September 30, 2022.
Volleyball Opens Conference Play with Sweeps
Knights Gallop past SMU Mustangs https://t.co/GHLlMutCoF— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) September 25, 2022
The UCF Volleyball Team has extended its season-opening unbeaten streak to ten matches last weekend with a pair of 3-0 sweeps against Memphis and SMU to open conference play.
For their performance, the Knights moved up one spot in the AVCA Coaches Poll to the No. 24 spot, switching places with Western Kentucky. The team also remains among the final undefeated teams in Division I Volleyball, which has now shrunk to just four teams: UCF, Towson, Auburn, and Texas.
Due to Hurricane Ian, the team’s next two matches were moved to Wichita, Kansas. The Knights will take on Tulsa at 5 p.m. on Friday, followed by a match against the hosting Wichita State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
UCF Moves Up to No. 24 in AVCA Rankings https://t.co/MqKlcGtRKg— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) September 26, 2022
Men’s Soccer falls to Memphis
FINAL— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) September 25, 2022
No. 24 Memphis, 3
No. 23 UCF, 2
Out-chanced the Tigers all match long but couldn't come out on top. Back home on Friday to host FAU.
The UCF Men’s Soccer team sustained its first loss in conference play Saturday against Memphis, 3-2.
The loss came despite the Knights out-shooting the Tigers, 20-6. Further, UCF also had six shots on goal compared to Memphis’ three.
The Tigers got on the board early with goals in the 7th and 51st minutes to go up 2-0.
Forward Lucca Dourado joined the Top 10 all-time goal scorers in program history with his 23rd career goal on a penalty kick in the 54th minute.
Six goals in six games for Lucca! ⚔️ #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/p0bkEbIuHN— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) September 25, 2022
Following an over 90-minute rain delay, defender Anderson Rosa equalized the match in the 63rd minute with his first goal of the season, with an assist from midfielder AJ Seals.
That ball had eyes!— UCF Men's Soccer (@UCF_MSoccer) September 25, 2022
All level down the stretch! pic.twitter.com/1RwjkYWYmJ
However, the Tigers clinched victory thanks to a penalty kick in the 71st minute that got past goalkeeper Juanvi Muñoz. The true freshman did not tally a save in the loss.
Due to the loss, the Knights fell out of the Top 25 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.
The team will look to rebound this weekend, returning home to host Florida Atlantic. The match was originally slated for Friday at 7 p.m., but thanks to Hurricane Ian the match will instead kick off at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Women’s Tennis opens fall season
Marie, Nandini & Jelly are bringing a handful of victories back from Cary after a great weekend at the Fall Ranked Spotlight!https://t.co/NjiPLE2Y3U— UCF Women's Tennis (@UCF_WTennis) September 26, 2022
The UCF Women’s Tennis team was spread across the nation last week as they kicked off their fall season, which consists of a mix of collegiate events and professional tournaments.
Sophomores Sophia Biolay and Noel Saidenova and true freshman Jantje Tilbuerger were in Lubbock, Texas for the International Tennis Federation’s W15 Tournament there.
- Biolay was ousted in the first round.
- Saidenova was defeated in the second round after picking up a win over Oklahoma State alum Lisa-Marie Rioux (4-6, 7-6, 7-6).
- Tilbuerger made it the furthest of the trio, getting to the quarterfinals. Despite winning the first set, she was ousted by the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Poland’s Martyna Kubka (6-4, 3-6, 2-6).
Over 1,500 miles away, another trio of Knights opened their fall seasons at NC State for its Fall Ranked Spotlight event. Each singles player got to play five matches and each doubles pair got to play three matches.
- Redshirt Senior Nandini Sharma went 3-2.
- Senior Marie Mattel went 2-3.
- Junior Jaleesa Leslie went 1-4.
- Sharma and Mattel teamed up to go 2-1 in doubles play.
This week, Saidenova and Tilbuerger were back in action in Texas for the ITF’s W25 Tournament in Austin.
Both Knights won their first two matches to advance out of the Qualifying Draw. However, Tilbuerger fell in the first round of the main draw in a rematch with Kubka (6-3, 6-4).
Saidenova made it to the second round before falling to the tournament’s No. 2 seed, Yuki Naito of Japan (6-3, 6-4).
Starting on Saturday, Mattel, Sharma, and Leslie will be back in action in North Carolina for the ITA All-American Championships.
Knight(s) of the Week
You, the fans
Orlando usually sees around 6 inches of rain during the entire month of September. Hurricane Ian brought over 13 inches of rain to parts of Orlando in just 24 hours.— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) September 29, 2022
Ian will bring more heavy rain to NE Florida and the Carolinas as it tracks North. pic.twitter.com/Pz7fDXNfkz
It’s been a historic couple of days here in central and southwest Florida.
Ian brought double the rain in 24 hours than what Orlando usually sees in the entire month of September. It was at an intensity that has not been seen in decades or even centuries in some parts of the state, especially so in Ft. Myers and that surrounding area.
So, I want to take this chance to highlight every single one of you. No matter what UCF’s student-athletes did on the field this week, Knight Nation was the one that has weathered this storm, one of, if not the most destructive it has ever seen.
If you are one of those whose life has been drastically altered in any way by this storm, my thoughts are with you.
So, regardless if you are a Knight, Bull, or Eagle, let’s take this moment to appreciate that we’ve made it through these last two days and that we each have multiple communities to help one another take stock of the damage and begin to recover and rebuild.