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Top 100 Greatest UCF Female Athletes: #20-11

A couple of speedy softball players and track athletes make their way onto the list

Photo: Todd Drexler/SE Sports Group

A lot has changed since the world emerged from the COVID-19 lockdowns, which was the last time we ranked the Top 100 Female Athletes in UCF history.

In just three years, many legends cemented their status in her final few seasons, while others were born, and for a few athletes, their stories have been rediscovered.

With UCF getting ready for its first year as a member of the Big 12, it’s once again time to count down the Top 100 female UCF Knights athletes of all time.

Criteria used to create this list include:

  • A player’s impact on their respective sport and on the school
  • Accomplishments they had after their UCF career
  • Accolades they have received. For example, if an athlete has been inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, they are automatically on the list.

We made sure to include at least one athlete from every UCF sport.

Now, let’s continue the countdown:

#20 - Tamika Coley (Basketball)

amika Coley was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 UCF Athletics
UCF Athletics

A three-time First Team All-ASUN performer, Tamika Coley finished her career in 1996 by leading the Knights to the ASUN tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, both firsts in the program’s Division I era.

She was also named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year in the program’s lone season in the conference in 1991-92 but redshirted the following season to give birth to her daughter, Kamika.

She led the team in both points and rebounds in all four seasons saw the floor and all four seasons rank in the Top 10 in program history in single-season rebounds and free throws. Additionally, she is the only Knight in program history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, holding the program records in both statistics (2,006 points, 1,211 rebounds).

Coley also got to the free-throw line a lot, attempting 896 shots from there. To put this in perspective, in second place on the list, Chariya Davis, attempted 533 free throws in her career. Coley also converted 512 of those free throws, making her the only one in program history to convert more than 400 or 500 free throws.

She also is the program record-holder for rebounds per game (11) and double-doubles (66) and ranks third in scoring average (18.1) and seventh in career steals (202).

Coley was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. Nowadays, she is an Assistant Coach for the St. Petersburg College women’s basketball team.

#19 - Marissa Diggs - Soccer

SOCCER: JUL 17 NWSL - Washington Spirit at Houston Dash
Washington Spirit forward Jodie Taylor (14) and Houston Dash defender Marissa Diggs (23) fight for ball during the NWSL Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash soccer match at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Marissa Diggs is the only UCF defender to be a two-time All-American (2012-2013) and joins Michelle Akers as the only multi-time All-Americans in program history.

Diggs won the CUSA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2012 and followed that with the AAC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013. She was also named to the Hermann Award Watch List in 2013.

She was a three-time All-conference First Team member (CUSA in 2011 and 2012, AAC in 2013), an All-CUSA Second Team member (2010) and a three-time All-Region selection (2011-2013).

Diggs was named the CUSA Tournament Defensive MVP and a member of the All-Tournament team in 2012 after leading UCF to three straight shutouts for the school’s first CUSA tournament title in 2012. She followed that up with being part of UCF’s AAC Tournament title in 2013.

Diggs was also part of a CUSA regular season championship in 2010 and an AAC regular season championship in 2013. She helped UCF to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2010-2013), which included the team’s Elite Eight run in 2011.

Diggs was the 11th pick overall in the NWSL Draft in 2014 by the Houston Dash and played one season there before retiring in 2015. Nowadays, she is a Business Development Representative for a software company.

#18 - Afia Charles (Track and Field)

Afia Charles is UCF’s 1st Olympian in Track and Field Todd Drexler/SE Sports Group
Todd Drexler/SE Sports Group

Afia Charles is UCF’s first track and field Olympian, as she ran the 400-meter dash representing Antigua and Barbuda at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, 28 years after her mother, Ruperta, competed for the country in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and the 4×400 meter relay.

(From L) Guyana’s Aliann Pompey, Antigua
(From L) Guyana’s Aliann Pompey, Antigua’s Afia Charles, Jamaica’s Christine Day, Botswana’s Amantle Montsho and Britain’s Shana Cox compete in the women’s 400m heats at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 3, 2012 in London Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GettyImage
Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/GettyImages

During her time at UCF from 2011-2014, Charles was a three-time All-American in two different events: the 4x400-meter relay and the 4x100-meter relay. One such All-American performance included the 2013 4x100-meter relay squad that set a new program record in the event (43.15 s) to take home a silver medal at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. This helped the Knights finish fifth place overall in the championship, becoming the first non-P5 program since 2000 to earn a top-five finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Charles was part of the Knights’ three outdoor CUSA Championship teams (2011-2013) as well as two indoor CUSA Championship teams (2011 and 2013). She helped UCF reach those titles by earning six gold and three silver medals across all of the CUSA Championship meets she competed in from 2011-2013.

She also earned two gold, a silver and two bronze medals in the one indoor and one outdoor AAC Championships she competed in in 2014.

Today, Charles remains part of the program’s fastest sprint medley (3:46.12), indoor 4x400-meter relay (3:34.00) and the aforementioned fastest outdoor 4x100-meter relay in program history. In fact, Charles is a part of six of the top 10 fastest indoor 4x400-meter relay times in program history.

Charles is also part of four of the Top 10 fastest outdoor 4x400-meter relay times in program history, ranks third in program history in the outdoor 400-meter dash (52.49 s) and fourth in program history in the indoor 400-meter dash (53.75 s).

In 2021, Charles became the first track and field athlete to get inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.

Nowadays, she is married to former UCF offensive lineman Torrian Wilson, expecting a baby girl in January 2024 and starting up her own financial coaching business called “Crafting Millionaires.”

#17 - DeLaina Sarden (Volleyball)

DeLaina Sarden was a 3-time AVCA All-American honoree UCF Athletics
UCF Athletics

Lawrenceville, Georgia’s own DeLaina Sarden (2011-2014) is the first multi-time AVCA All-American in program history, doing so three times (2012-2014), alongside three All-Region selections (2012-2014).

She was also the CUSA’s Freshman of the Year in 2011 and the AAC’s Player of the Year in 2014, becoming the first of two UCF players to win Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in a career.

She ranks second in program history in career block solos (85), second in attack percentage (.383), fourth in block assists (377), fourth in total blocks (462) and ninth in blocks per set (1.04).

Sarden helped UCF win its first AAC Championship in 2014 and make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. She was inducted into the program’s Ring of Honor in 2022.

Nowadays, she is a Principal for an executive search firm.

#16 - Anne-Marie Blaney (Cross Country/Track & Field)

Anne-Marie Blaney is the most decorated distance runner in UCF history and the only UCF Track athlete to make the NCAA Championships in Cross Country, Outdoor Track and Field and Indoor Track and Field. In fact, she is the only distance runner in program history to ever make the Indoor or Outdoor Track and Field NCAA Championships.

She made four NCAA Championship appearances for the Knights, including one indoor (2017, 5K, 8th place), one outdoor (2016, 10K, 14th place), and two for cross country (2014 and 2016).

She also earned USTFCCCA Track and Field All-American status twice, once in 2016 for the Outdoor 10K and again in 2017 for the Indoor 5K. In cross country, she was selected as a USTFCCCA All-Region athlete three times (2013, 2014 and 2016) and was the 2016 USTFCCCA South Region Athlete of the Year.

Between 2012-2017, Blaney helped the Knights win three conference championships: the 2013 CUSA Indoor title, the 2013 CUSA Outdoor title and the 2017 AAC Indoor title. In that 2017 Indoor title, Blaney was recognized as the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer.

As for Blaney herself, she was the NCAA Cross Country South Regional champion (2016), won two AAC Cross Country Individual titles (2013 and 2016) and was an All-AAC selection in cross country three times (2013, 2014 and 2016). In conference track and field meets, Blaney has won five gold, eight silver and two bronze medals, including three consecutive Indoor 5K wins (2015-2017).

Blaney holds school records in the indoor mile (4.45.06), indoor 3K (9.18.87), indoor 5K (15:42), outdoor 5K (15:43.61) and outdoor 10K (33:18.81). She also ranks second in program history in the outdoor 1500-meter run (4:21.64) and is part of four of the top 10 indoor distance medley times in program history, including the second-fastest (11:32.85).

In cross country, she ran 10 of the Top 15 fastest 5K times in program history, including the program record (16:50.19). Additionally, she exclusively holds the top seven fastest 6K times in program history, including the program record (19:39.9).

Blaney continued to run after her UCF career, signing with Hansons-Brooks Distance Project in the fall of 2017, where she remains today. She competed in the 2020 Olympic Trials in both the marathon and the 10K and finished 25th overall amongst the women in the 2023 Boston Marathon.

Nowadays, she is also a social media manager for a computer security company.

#15 - Ashley Holder (Golf)

Ashley Holder played golf at UCF from 2014-2017 UCF Athletics
UCF Athletics

Orlando native Ashley Holder is a four-time All-AAC selection from 2014-2017 (unanimously so in 2015 and 2016).

Holder was named an All-American twice by Golfweek (2016 and 2017). She was also a three-time AAC Golfer of the Year (2014, 2015, and unanimously in 2017) and the unanimously-selected AAC Freshman of the Year in 2014. She helped UCF win two AAC titles (2015 and 2017) and make three NCAA Regionals (‘14, ‘15, and ‘17).

Holder won three events individually in her career, the fourth-most in program history: the 2014 LSU Tiger Golf Classic, the 2015 Landfall Tradition and the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championship. She also ranks second in program history in career scoring average (72.62).

Alongside her 2017 individual title, Holder has finished in the Top 5 at the AAC Championship all four times she competed. She competed four times in NCAA Regionals (qualifying as an individual in 2016), finishing as high as tied for 15th overall (2015).

Nowadays, she is working for JetBlue Vacations.

#14 - Jenny Frank (Volleyball)

Jenny Frank was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011
UCF Athletics

Jenny Frank was a standout setter for the Knights from 2000-03, leading UCF to three straight ASUN titles and NCAA Tournament berths from 2001-2003.

She was selected as the ASUN’s Player of the Year in 2003, All-ASUN First Team twice (2002-2003) and All-ASUN Second Team once (2001). Frank was also an AVCA All-Region team selection and the first in program history to earn an AVCA All-America honorable mention honor in 2003.

Frank ranks second in UCF history with 4,825 career assists, tied for fifth in service aces (149), tied for fourth in aces per set (0.39), 10th in digs per set (2.53) and 11th in digs (1,111).

Jenny Frank and her 2003 team was inducted into UCF Volleyball Ring of Honor in 2013 UCF Athletics
UCF Athletics

In 2003, Frank captained a UCF team that recorded an NCAA Tournament first-round victory over CUSA champion Cincinnati to reach the round of 32 for the first time since 1997. She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

Nowadays, she is a Territory Sales Manager for a cybersecurity company.

T-#13 - Kahley Novak (Softball)

“The Stolen Base Queen,” Kahley Novak is the UCF record holder for most stolen bases in a game (5 on March 5th, 2013) and in a career with 125. She also shares the record for most steals in a season (43 in 2015) with Natalie Land (2012), though Novak is also in third and fourth on the list with her 2014 (34) and 2013 (31) seasons respectively.

Novak ranks 11th in program history in career batting average (.312), eighth in runs scored (128), tied for sixth in triples (8) and sixth in hits (217). She was also a two-time NFCA All-Region selection 2014 and 2015, an All-AAC First Team selection in 2015 and a CUSA All-Freshman team selection in 2012.

She was part of three NCAA Tournament appearances (2012, 2014 and 2015), two regular season AAC Championships (‘14 and ‘15), and an AAC Tournament Championship in 2015.

Kahley Novak # 2 played 2 seasons in NPF with the Dallas Charge pictured with former UCF teammates Samantha McCloskey (Left) & Shelby Turnier (Right) Kahley Novak
Kahley Novak

Novak was picked 16th overall in the 2015 NPF Draft by the Dallas Charge and played two seasons there.

Novak’s father, Tommy, played baseball at UCF from 1985-1986, ranking in the top 10 in program history in career wins with 20, and is in our Top 100 UCF Knights Male Athletes of all-time. The Novaks are the only family members of a father-daughter or mother-son combination to appear on both our UCF Male and Female Athletes rankings.

Nowadays, Novak, now known as Kahley Armstrong, has been hired as the new softball head coach at Montverde Academy.

T-#13 - Natalie Land (Softball)

Natalie Land and Kahley Novak share UCF single season school record in stolen bases with 43. Eric Lopez
Eric Lopez

Natalie Land is the only UCF Softball player in program history to be a three-time first-team All-CUSA selection (2010-2012).

She ranks tied for seventh all-time at UCF in career batting average (.316), ninth in hits (206), second in stolen bases (102), second in double plays turned (38), fourth in triples (10), fifth in assists (405), sixth in runs scored (134), ninth in on-base percentage (.397), and sixth in total bases (290). She also shares the single-season record for stolen bases with 43 (set in 2012) with Kahley Novak (2015).

Land was part of two NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2012 and helped lead the Knights to the CUSA Championship game in 2010.

Following her UCF days, Land played for the United States Women’s National Baseball team in the 2012 Women’s Baseball World Cup and earned a silver medal. She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021.

#12 - Kim Wyant (Soccer)

Of the many great UCF Women’s Soccer goalkeepers, it all started with Kim Wyant.

She started in the first-ever NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship in 1982, a game the Knights lost 2-0 to North Carolina. Despite the loss, she was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Wyant had a 0.60 goals-against average in 1982, which is tied for the eighth-best for a single season in UCF program history. She had her lone All-Region and All-American selection in 1985, her senior season.

Over her career, she recorded 122 saves and 18 shutouts, the latter of which ranks ninth in program history.

Wyant was one of the first original players selected to the U.S. Women’s National Team. She was the starting goalkeeper in the team’s first-ever international match and made 16 appearances during her time with Team USA from 1985-1993.

She also played in the USL W-League from 1994-2003, playing with Orlando Lions (1994) and Long Island Lady Riders (1995-2003). Wyant led the Lady Raiders to USL Championships in 1995 and 1997, was Goalkeeper of The Year four years in a row from 1995-98 and was honored as the Most Valuable Player for her performance in the 1997 Championship series. During this same time frame, Wyant was also the head coach of the Florida Atlantic women’s soccer team, a role she held from 1995-1998.

Only one year after retiring as a player, she was inducted into the USL’s Hall of Fame in 2004. Yet, she stayed with the Lady Riders as a coach and general manager until 2007.

In 2008, Wyant would receive a Special Recognition Award from the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and in 2010, she was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.

Nowadays, Wyant is the GM and Head Coach of the WPSL’s Brooklyn City FC and the head coach of the NYU Men’s Soccer team. She is one of two female head coaches of NCAA Division lll men’s soccer teams. Since 2015, she has led the Violets to a 63-51-14 record with three NCAA Tournament appearances (2018, 2021-2022).

#11 - Karen Richter (Soccer)

Richter was featured on the cover of Soccer America in 1990.
Bill Barker’s Friend

Karen Richter was one of the greatest goalkeepers in NCAA history during her time at UCF, from 1987-1990.

She helped her UCF teams go 43-13-7 overall and reach two NCAA Tournaments, advancing to the Final Four in 1987 as the backup to Amy Allman and to the quarterfinals in 1988 as a starter.

In 1989, Richter was named an All-American and MVP by Soccer America and recorded a 0.25 goals-against average, which remains a single-season program record. She was named the NCAA’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990 and to the All-Region team twice (1989-1990).

Richter’s 30.5 career shutouts still stand as the program record today, and her 0.59 goals-against average ranks third in program history. Her 135 saves rank 10th in program history.

Courtesy of Karen Hoppa

Richter would serve as an assistant coach at UCF from 1991-1993 and head coach from 1993-1998. She was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Nowadays, Richter (now known as Karen Hoppa) is entering her 25th season as the Auburn women’s soccer head coach. She has taken the Tigers to 17 NCAA Tournaments, including a 2015 Sweet 16 appearance and a 2016 Elite Eight appearance.