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Knight Cap: Women’s Hoops Ends Regular Season with Key Win

Plus: Volleyball continues to roll and more

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 27 Women’s East Carolina at UCF
Brittney Smith
Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The wild spring continues for various UCF Knights sports, plus we name a Knight of the Week in your latest Knight Cap for Monday, March 8:

UCF Women’s Basketball Knocks off No. 14 South Florida to End Regular Season

In a reversal of what happened on Tuesday, UCF came out fired up. Masseny Kaba scored 10 of the Knights’ 18 points in the first quarter as the Knights dominated the paint outscoring USF 34-6 inside while on defense holding the Bulls to 25% shooting for the game to get the program’s first ever win over a top 15 ranked team on Senior Knight.

The two rivals split the regular season War on I-4 meetings last week with South Florida holding on for 65-62 win in Tampa on Tuesday which clinched the regular season championship *. Now we have an asterisk to it because the Bulls (15-3, 13-2*) won the title based on The American declaring a forfeit win for USF against Memphis for conference standings purposes only as a result of the scheduled game from Jan. 17 that was not played. The teams’ overall records are not affected.

Next up: UCF (14-3, 12-2) will be the No. 2 seed in American Conference Championship starting on Tuesday at 7pm on ESPN+ as they will play the winner of the 7/10 matchup between Cincinnati and Memphis. - Eric Lopez

No. 22 UCF Softball Takes 2 of 3 From Kennesaw State

No. 22 UCF Softball took 2 of 3 games over Kennesaw State, winning Game 1 on Saturday 5-1 and splitting a doubleheader on Sunday, winning the first game 7-4 while dropping the second game 8-1. Kennedy Searcy had 4 hits in the doubleheader on Sunday and hit in all three games of the series.

Gianna Mancha got the win going the distance in Saturday’s game while the Knights scored 5 runs in the bottom of the sixth to break up Kennesaw State’s no-hit bid. In Sunday’s win, UCF got homers from Juliana Wilson and Jada Cody, and Alea White set a new school record for most games pitched in UCF Softball history with appearance Nos. 151 and 152 on Sunday, passing Mackenzie Audas. UCF is now at 12-3 on the season.

Next up: A showdown with No. 2 Arizona on Monday at 3 p.m. at the Plex. - Eric Lopez

UCF Baseball gets swept by Liberty

We can’t explain this season for UCF Baseball right now. The Knights are 3-8 after losing three at home to Liberty over the weekend, two of which by one run.

In the first of two on Friday, all three of the game’s runs came on home runs, but a 2-run shot by Liberty’s Logan Mathieu out-did Ben McCabe’s 5th homer of the year to give Liberty the 2-1 win.

Colton Gordon went the distance, giving up just five hits, but the UCF offense mustered just two hits off Liberty’s pitchers.

In game two, UCF had a 3-2 lead heading into the 6th, but a 4-run spot by the Flames off of Jack Sinclair was enough to give Liberty an 8-3 win. Hunter Patteson threw just 3.1 innings, giving up two runs before turning it over to the bullpen.

The third game of the series was another pitching duel, with AJ Jones of UCF giving up just two runs on four hits through six. But a pair of solo homers again by Liberty helped give them the lead, and despite having the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the 9th, UCF couldn’t close the deal.

Coach Lovelady on Zoom after the game:

Next up: UCF has two home-and-homes this week against UNF, starting in Jacksonville on Wednesday and then again on Saturday, with Friday and Sunday’s games at home. - Jeff Sharon

UCF Men Soccer Beats Memphis 2-1

UCF Men Soccer played its most complete match to date on Saturday night as the Knights defeated Memphis 2-1 to record the 400th win in program history.

UCF took the lead on a penalty kick from Yoni Sorokin in 28th minute:

In the 60th minute, Ariel Hardar doubled the lead with his 1st career goal on a great cross pass from Hattibiou Barry to give UCF 2-0 lead:

The Knights held off a late rush from the Tigers, who scored in the 85th minute to prevent Matt Douglas from having a shutout. But Douglas got his 1st win as a Knight making his 2nd consecutive start for Yannik Oettel, who was unavailable due to undisclosed injury.

Next up: A critical showdown on the road with arch rival No. 2 SMU. - Eric Lopez

UCF Women’s Soccer Drops 1-0 at No. 18 Memphis

Longtime rivals battled on Sunday in Memphis in an intense, physical match that saw a combined 23 fouls called. Memphis would score the game-winning-goal in the 57th minute of the contest when Grace Stordy found a loose ball off of a corner kick.

Next up: The Knights, now at 2-2, return home next Sunday to host East Carolina. - Eric Lopez

UCF Volleyball Sweeps East Carolina

UCF Volleyball disposed of ECU this weekend, beating the Pirates Friday and Saturday, surrendering just one set in the process.

On Friday, UCF held Cincy to just 0.92 for the match en route to a sweep (25-17, 25-17, 25-18) that lasted barely an hour and 15 minutes. Tali Marmen recorded eight aces in the match, the most since Lorin Lukas set the school record with 9 in 2006. McKenna Melville added 13 kills and 15 digs for her fifth double-double of 2021, and Anne-Marie Watson posted ten.

On Saturday, UCF picked up win no. 10 in the year in four. The match was a bit tougher than the previous day’s, with UCF surrendering the third set 26-24, but in the end it was too much UCF. Melville posted another double-double with 19 kills and a season-best 21 digs, and Anne Marie Watson pitched in with 13 more kills on a .313 hitting performance. The frontcourt duo of Kathryn Wesolich and Nerissa Moravec were outstanding again going a combined .405 with 17 kills on 37 swings.

Coach Dagenais discussed the effort afterwards:

Next Up: The Knights are now 10-1 and 4-0 in The American, but face their toughest test yet this coming weekend with two at Cincinnati (6-3, 4-0). Even though Jordan Thompson isn’t around anymore, the Bearcats have a formidable hitter in Maria Mallon, who is tops on the team with three kills per set. UCF, of course, was swept by Cincy last regular season but beat them in the AAC Tournament in an all-time classic five-setter. Cincy is the only other 4-0 team in the East, and they host the AAC Tournament in a few weeks. - Jeff Sharon

No. 18 UCF Women’s Tennis Knocks Off No. 24 Furman, FAU

The Knights took two wins over the weekend at home to improve to 9-3 on the season.

On Sunday, UCF rolled past Florida Atlantic 7-0 following up the big win on Saturday over 24th-ranked Furman.

Saturday’s win over Furman came down to Court 2 where No. 42 Rebeka Stolmar knocked off Furman’s Julia Adams 6-4, 7-6 to clinch UCF’s 3rd win against a top 25 team this season.

Stolmar also won in doubles with Marie Mattel to go 2-0 on the day.

Next Up: UCF hosts UNF on Saturday. - Eric Lopez

No. 18 UCF Men’s Tennis Sweeps Stetson

No. 18 UCF broke a record they set in 2019 of 19 consecutive dual match points. With their three straight sweeps, The Knights have 21 straight points to set a new record as they rolled past the Hatters 7-0.

Next up: The Knights are 5-2 and host South Alabama (who is receiving votes in the Top 25) on Tuesday. - Eric Lopez and Jeff Sharon

UCF Men’s Basketball Knocks Off East Carolina 64-60

Despite only having seven players available on Thursday, UCF Men’s Basketball (10-11, 8-10 AAC) won its 4th straight, beating ECU 64-60. The Knights were led by Isaiah Adams. who scored 15 points, while Darius Perry and Darin Green Jr. each had 14 points.

Coach Dawkins postgame:

Next up: UCF will play ECU again on Thursday in the opening round of American Basketball Championship as the Knights come in as the 6 seed. Tip off is at 7pm on ESPNU with Mike Corey and Mark Adams on the call. - Eric Lopez

Knight Of The Week: Rebeka Stolmar, Women’s Tennis

Stolmar went 4-0 on the weekend, winning two doubles matches and two singles, including going 2-0 against No. 24 Furman on Saturday.

Honorable Mention: Isaiah Adams, Men Basketball

Isaiah Adams has been huge during this win streak. With C.J. Walker and Brandon Mahan both missing some time, Adams led the Knights in scoring during victories over Tulsa and ECU last week.

Adams averaged 17 points per game in the two wins, hitting 6 of 12 from 3-point land and 50% from the floor.