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Knight Cap: Women’s Hoops Stays Unbeaten

Plus: Volleyball misses postseason for first time since 2016

This past week of UCF Knights sports saw one team’s season come to an end while another one’s winning streak continued on a holiday trip.

We recap all of that action, plus we give you our Knights of the Week and Play of the Week in the final Knight Cap for the calendar year on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.

Women’s Basketball remains perfect after Puerto Rico Classic

The UCF Women’s Basketball team continued its undefeated start to the 2023-24 season with a trio of victories in the Discover Puerto Rico Classic over the holiday weekend.

The Knights (6-0) marked the Thanksgiving holiday with a 63-54 win over Jackson State, defeated St. John’s 61-48 on Black Friday, and capped it off with a 69-58 victory against Sacred Heart.

Junior guard Kaitlin Peterson, a transfer from Indiana, continued her breakout start to the season, setting a new career high in points twice. She first had a 21-point performance against Jackson State (5-1) and then scored 32 of UCF’s 69 points against Sacred Heart (4-3).

Peterson has yet to score less than 10 points so far this season, helping her reach 15th in the nation in points per game.

In the frontcourt, true freshman forward Achol Akot picked up her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in UCF’s game against Sacred Heart. Though, she did flirt with attaining the feat one game earlier with 13 rebounds and nine points against St. John’s (2-5).

As a team, the Knights rank 17th in the nation in free-throw percentage (80%), 18th in three-point percentage (39%), 21st in three-point percentage defense (22.6%) and 28th in field goal percentage (47.4%).

With these three wins, head coach Sytia Messer mirrors the beginning of her debut season in 2022-23, which also started on a six-game winning streak. She will try to improve on that as the Knights return home to face Campbell.

Up Next:

vs. Campbell | Sunday, 3 p.m. | ESPN+/Big Xll Now

Volleyball denied potential fifth set; miss postseason

The UCF Volleyball team concluded its season with a pair of road losses to Iowa State and Kansas.

Despite a slow start against the Cyclones, losing 25-14 in the first set, the Knights kept the last two sets close (25-22, 25-23) despite ultimately being swept. Freshman outside hitter Avah Armour led the way with 10 kills and senior libero Chloe Scheer set a new career high with 24 digs.

It was a close affair from wire to wire in UCF’s final match of the season against Kansas. Outside hitter Emily Wilson’s 18 kills and 15 digs, alongside a 17-kill performance from outside hitter Lauren Clark in her final collegiate match helped the Knights win their first set since Nov. 4 against Houston.

UCF may have been able to take another set to force a fifth set, but the Knights’ set-winning point ended up overturned and the Jayhawks came back to seal the win with a 28-26 fourth set.

While redshirt freshman outside hitter Britt Carlson set a new career high with 12 kills, it was also the end of the collegiate road for Clark and middle blockers Claudia Dillon and Abby Hansen.

The Knights (17-12, 8-10 Big 12) will finish 2023 losing their last eight matches and 10 of their last 11. It’s the program’s longest consecutive losing streak since 2010, a season that also included matches with Baylor and Houston.

Additionally, UCF’s 12 losses are the most losses in a single campaign since 2017. However, unlike 2017, they will be missing the postseason entirely. The last time UCF did not play postseason volleyball was a year earlier in 2016, breaking a six-year-long streak.

The Knights came in at #71 in the final RPI rankings of 2023, 12 spots behind fellow Big 12 team Kansas State, who was one of the first eight out of the NCAA Tournament.

UCF Men’s Golfer finishes runner-up at Sunshine State Amateur

While the fall golf season might be over, it does not mean the golf stops.

A trio of underclassmen UCF Men’s golfers competed in the Sunshine State Amateur at the El Campeon Golf Course at Mission Resort + Club in Lake County, Florida.

Sophomore Chase Haygood led the way going into the tournament’s final round, but a final-round 76 (+4) dropped him into the runner-up spot with a 219 (3-over) three-round total. He finished one stroke shy of champion Vijay Kumar, who finished with a 218 (2-over) after shooting the lowest round of the tournament (68, 4-under).

He was joined by fellow sophomore Tom Stephens and true freshman Cy Norman. While Stephens was disqualified during the second round, Norman had better fortunes, finishing in a tie for 19th at 228 (12-over).

The trio will be back in action in Knights uniforms at the Sea Best Invitational on January 29-30.

Knight of the Week

Kaitlin Patterson, Women’s Basketball

The Indiana transfer has become a poster child for the new more offense-heavy identity the UCF Women’s Basketball team has cultivated in 2023-24, as she set a new career high on two separate occasions in Puerto Rico.

Knights Play of the Week

RJ Harvey puts UCF up by two scores over Houston