As we wrap up our countdown of the top UCF Knights female athletes of all time, check out our previous articles in this list here:
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time #80-71
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time #70-61
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time #60-51
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time #50-41
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time #40-31
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time #30-21
- Top 80 UCF Female Athletes of All-Time # 20-11
Now the moment has come as we unveil the top ten greatest female UCF Knights athletes, which includes seven UCF Athletics Hall of Famers, three Olympians, two World Cup Champions and a NATIONAL Champion:
#10 - Afia Charles (Track and Field)
Afia Charles is UCF’s first track and field Olympian, as she represented Antigua and Barbuda at the London 2012 Summer Olympics in the women’s 400 meters 28 years after her mother, Ruperta, a native of Antigua, competed at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in the 100 meters, and 200 meters, and the 4×400 meter relay.
During her time at UCF from 2011-2014, Charles was a 2011 NCAA Indoor All-American (4x400 Relay), 2013 NCAA Outdoor All-American (4x100 Relay), and 2014 NCAA Outdoor All-American (4x400 Relay). Charles was a member of the 2014 UCF 4x400 meter relay team that advanced the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. The squad crossed the line in 3:35.42 to place 15th for Second Team All-American accolades. The foursome ( Sandy Jean, Jen Clayton, Ashley Jocelyn, Charles) also recorded a school-record time of 3:32.59 at the American Athletic Conference Championships.
Charles was part of the Knights three outdoor C-USA Championships (2011-2013) as well as two indoor C-USA Championship teams (2011,2013). Charles help UCF finished 5th in 2013 NCAA Championships as the Knights became the first non P5 program since 2000 to earn a top-five finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Charles was a member of the 4x100 relay squad that set a new school record in the prelims and finished runner-up in the finals.
Charles holds UCF record for fastest 400 meters outdoor (52.49). Charles was AAC 1st Team conference in 400 meters Outdoors twice (2013-2014) as well as 1st Team C-USA (2012)
#9 - Renata Menchikova (Volleyball)
Renata Menchikova led UCF in kills and aces in all three seasons she played at UCF (1995-1997), while leading the team in digs in 1996 and 1997. She set the school record for career kills (2,151) and kills per set (5.85).
Menchikova also ranks among UCF’s all-time leaders in aces (154, 3rd), and aces per game (.42, 2nd). She also holds the top five single-match kill totals in UCF history, and the top two records for single-season kills.
Menchikova was a three-time first-team All-TAAC honoree, and was the TAAC Tournament MVP in 1995 and TAAC Player of the Year in 1996. She was part of three TAAC Championship teams and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Menchikova was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002 and the UCF Volleyball Ring of Honor in 2019.
#8 - Ashley Holder (Golf)
Orlando native Ashley Holder was a three-time All-American Honorable Mention (2014, 2015 and 2017), three-time American Golfer of Year winner (2014, 2015, and 2017), AAC Freshman of the Year in 2014 and an All-Conference First Team selection all four seasons of her UCF career. She helped UCF win The American Championship twice in 2015 and 2017, and made the NCAA Tournament three times (‘14, ‘15, and ‘17).
Holder won the individual AAC Championship in 2017 after finishing as the runner-up in the previous two seasons.
Holder made the NCAA Tournament in singles three times (2015-2017), finishing tied for 15th in the NCAA Regional in 2015. She won three tournaments during her Knights career which is third all-time in program history. Holder also holds the record for career scoring average (72.62).
#7 - Aurieyall Scott (Track and Field)
Atlanta native Aurieyall Scott won the first track and field NCAA national championship in UCF history at the 60-meter indoor race in 2013, with a school record time of 7.13 seconds, edging out teammate Octavious Freeman, who finished 3rd at 7.16.
Scott was the C-USA 60-meter champ and Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2013. She also was a finalist for the 200-meter USA Outdoor Final at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Scott was a 14-time All American, and holds the UCF record in the indoor 60 meters (7.13), indoor 200 meters (22.68), and outdoor 200 meters (22.46).
#6 - Amy Allman (Griffin) (Soccer)
Amy Griffin (nee Allman) played goalkeeper during her career from 1984-87, which culminated with her being named an All-American and the NCAA’s Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year in 1987. Amy teamed with fellow UCF Hall of Famer Michelle Akers and led UCF to two NCAA Tournament appearances ( 1984 and 1987), including a trip to the ‘87 Final Four. Allman ranks 4th all-time with a 0.74 goals against average for her career, and her 24.5 shutouts ranks 5th all-time. Allman also did this while competing in cross-country and rowing at UCF.
She played 24 caps (23 starts) for the U.S. National Team from 1987-91, posting a 12-8-3 record with a 0.99 goals against average in international play, and was on the squad that won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991. Griffin later served as a broadcast commentator with NBC, ESPN and Fox, and provided analysis for ESPN2 during the 1995 and 1999 Women’s World Cups as well as NBC’s 2000 Sydney Olympics coverage
Amy was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.
T-#5 - Mackenzie Audas (Softball)
“The Strikeout Queen of UCF Softball,” Mackenzie Audas holds many UCF career pitching records, including strikeouts (945), starts (125), total appearances (150), saves (10), innings pitched (823) and No-Hitters (5).
Audas also has 78 wins, which is second all-time only behind her “Shake & Bake” teammate, Shelby Turnier. She was a 2015 unanimous All-American Athletic Conference First Teamer, Capital One All-American, 2012 Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Year, and 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year. She was the first Knight to ever win Pitcher of the Year, helping to turn around a UCF program which was coming off a 22-32 season in 2011 to 39-19 in 2012, and making the NCAA Tournament.
Audas was part of three NCAA Tournament teams (2012, 2014 and 2015), two regional final appearances (2014 and 2015), two AAC regular season championships (2014-2015) and an AAC Tournament championship (2015).
T-#5 - Shelby Turnier (Softball)
Shelby Turnier is the most decorated softball player in UCF Knights history.
Turnier became the first player in program history to be an All-American making the NFCA’s Division I All-America First Team in 2015, and finished as a Top Ten finalist for National Player of the Year. She became the first UCF Player to earn the ESPNW National Player of the Week award (2/18/15) and the second Knight (alongside Stephanie Best in 2003) to earn an NFCA National Weekly honor, being the first pitcher to be named the NFCA Pitcher of the Week (2/17/15).
Turnier led the NCAA in ERA in 2015, tying a school record with a 0.87 ERA. She won AAC Pitcher of the Year that year. In 2016, Turnier became the third Knight in school history to reach 70 career wins and 800 career strikeouts, along with Allison Kime and her teammate Mackenzie Audas). Turnier led UCF to three straight NCAA Tournament regional finals from 2014-2016, two AAC regular season championships (2014 and 2015) and the 2015 AAC Tournament championship, pitching a 1-hit shutout over Tulsa to clinch a 1-0 win at the UCF Softball Complex.
Turnier ranks in the top five all-time at UCF in wins (1st - 80), appearances (2nd - 143), starts (2nd - 113), lowest opponent batting average (3rd - .188), shutouts (3rd - 23), innings pitched (3rd - 742.1), strikeouts (3rd - 830), and lowest earned run average (5th - 1.75). She has the most wins against top 25 teams by any Knight with seven, and is only one of two UCF pitchers (along with Allison Kime) to pitch a shutout in an NCAA Tournament game, as Tunier’s 80th win came against FAU in the 2016 Gainesville Regional.
Turnier was drafted by the Chicago Bandits with the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NPF Draft, the highest by any Knight, and made an immediate impact as a pro, becoming the third UCF alumna to win the NPF Championship, doing so in her rookie year with the Bandits as their closer.
Turnier discussed winning the NPF Championship on the December 27, 2016 edition of “In The Circle”. She played three seasons in NPF (2016-2018), making All-NPF honors in 2018, the first UCF Knight to ever make All-NPF honors.
#4 - Tyra Harper (Turner) (Volleyball)
Tyra Harper had a historic career at UCF from 1994-97, earning First Team All-TAAC three times. She was named the TAAC Tournament MVP twice (1996 and 1997) and was named TAAC Player of the Year in 1997.
Harper led the Knights to four consecutive TAAC titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-1997), reaching the second round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament when UCF swept Clemson.
Harper is at or near the top of many UCF record categories, including owning the school record for total blocks (631), solo blocks (156), blocks assists (475), and finishing second to UCF Athletics Hall-of-Famer Renata Menchikova in career kills (1,932). Harper also ranks 2nd in games played (151), 3rd in sets played (506), 4th in kills per set (3.82), 2nd in blocks per set (1.25), and 10th in digs (1,097). She was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
2018 Ring of Honor Inductee— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) November 10, 2018
⚔️Tyra Harper⚔️ pic.twitter.com/BMREUbHKWw
Harper, now Tyra Turner, is also a former member of the U.S. National Team and was an alternate for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. She played professionally in indoor and beach volleyball, competing on the FIVB World Tour from 2005-2012, and participating in 53 events and securing nine podium finishes (5 silver medals, 4 bronze), highlighted by a silver at the 2008 Paris Grand Slam with her partner Rachel (Wacholder) Scott. During her tenure as a USA National Beach Team member, Harper ranked in the top ten in the world for over 6 years and narrowly missed qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games due to country quota regulations.
Harper played 10 seasons (2003-2012) on the AVP Tour, with 2007 being her best season, doubling her career earnings and playing in 11 AVP semifinals, including four title matches. She was inducted into UCF Volleyball ring of honor in 2018.
T-#3 - Stephanie Best (Softball)
Stephanie Best is the greatest hitter in UCF Softball history. Best helped start the UCF softball program in 2002 and put the Knights program on the map. During the Best Era from 2002-05, the Knights’ record was 172-100-1, winning an A-Sun Championship and reaching its first NCAA Tournament in program history in 2005, and recording its first NCAA win when they eliminated Florida, as Best went 3/4 with 2 RBI, 2 runs, a double and a triple.
A 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, Best was a three-time A-Sun Player of the Year in her career in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Best holds almost every major offensive career records including batting average (.384), slugging percentage (.756), on-base percentage (.487), runs (216), hits (285), home runs (71), RBI (213), total bases (562) and walks (147). Best led the NCAA in home runs with an incredible 26 in 2005, and shares an NCAA record for most RBI in a game with 11, which she set on March 19, 2003 vs Army.
Best was named to the 2003 NFCA All-Region First Team and the Second Team in 2004 and 2005. She was a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2004, and was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
Best would play in National Pro Fastpitch, getting drafted in the fourth round of the NPF Draft by the New England Riptide in 2005. She would play in NPF from 2005-2008, becoming the first UCF softball player to be drafted and play in the league.
She would win an NPF Championship with the Washington Glory in 2007, playing with U.S. Olympians Monica Abbott and Kelly Kretschman. Best would also play with the Rockford Thunder in 2008, becoming teammates with fellow UCF alum Allison Kime.
T-#3 - Allison Kime (Softball)
Allison Kime (2006-2008) took the torch from Stephanie Best and brought the UCF Softball program to new heights. In 2007, she set school records for shutouts in a season (15), lowest ERA (0.87) and most strikeouts in a game as Kime struck out 18 Florida State Seminoles on 3/28/07, giving UCF a 1-0 win in 12 innings.
Kime helped UCF improve from just 19 wins in 2006 to 38 in 2007. She holds the UCF career records for ERA (1.20), opponent’s average (.183), complete games (96), shutouts (34), and most defensive assists by a pitcher with 251, which ranks 9th all-time overall. Kime is also second all-time in strikeouts (847), no-hitters (4), and ranks 4th in wins with 71. She was a two-time All-Conference USA First Team selection and a two-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region First Team pick in 2007 and 2008.
Kime set numerous single season records in 2008, including wins (34), starts (42), complete games (36), strikeouts (359). She led UCF to the C-USA Championship in 2008 in Houston, going 3-0 in the tournament, including a win over 8th-ranked and defending champion Houston. Listen to our interview with Allison from last year prior to the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame at 25-minute mark below:
Kime got the best of her rival, Houston pitcher Angel Shamblin, in the final matchup between the two in the C-USA title game in 2008, Knights won 4-2.
Kime led UCF back to the NCAA Tournament and to the Gainesville Regional final for first time in program history, coming within one win of a Super Regional. Kime also became the first Knight pitcher to beat Florida, Florida State, and USF in her career.
Kime would play in National Pro Fastpitch in 2008 and 2009, winning the NPF Championship with the Rockford Thunder in 2009. She was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
#2 - Aline Reis (Soccer)
Perhaps the best in a long line of great UCF goalkeepers, Aline Reis was the first UCF player since 1995 to be named All-American, making the NSCAA All-America Second Team as a freahman in 2008. She was All-C-USA every one of her four years at UCF, making the First Team in 2009 and 2010, and the Second Team in 2008 and 2011.
Reis appeared in 83 games at UCF and posted 27 shutouts, which ranks her 4th all-time. She also ranks 2nd in saves (347) and 8th in goals against average (1.04). She is the winningest goalkeeper in Knights history (48-19-12), and led UCF to back-to-back C-USA Championships in 2009 and 2010, and made the NCAA Tournament all four years of her career, including leading the Knights to the Elite Eight in 2011, knocking off North Carolina in the Sweet 16 on penalty kicks.
Reis was voted team MVP all four seasons and was C-USA Player of the Week seven times, which is a school record. She was inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
Reis currently plays for Spanish club UD Granadilla Tenerife (2018-present), and is part of the Brazilian National Team. She got her first cap with Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympics in her home country of Brazil, posting a clean sheet against South Africa in the final group game.
Check out Reis’ interview on The Black and Gold Banneret Podcast Episode 149, where she discussed her career at UCF and with Brazil starting at 44 minute mark.
Reis helped Brazil win the 2018 Copa America in Chile, and was on the roster for the 2019 World Cup, making her the first UCF player since Michelle Akers to participate in a Summer Olympics and a World Cup.
Back in the states, Reis was the goalkeeper coach at UCLA in 2013 under her former UCF coach, Amanda Cromwell, and helped the Bruins win the National Championship.
#1 - Michelle Akers (Soccer)
Michelle Akers is regarded by many as the best female soccer player in the world during her career. Coming to UCF from Seattle, she was a four-time All-American, in 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988), and was UCF’s Athlete of the Year in 1988-89.
Akers is the all-time leading scorer in UCF history, with 134 points, and ranks second on UCF’s career lists in goals with 52, and assists with 30. She led UCF to three NCAA Tournament appearances (‘84, ‘87 and ‘88), including the Final Four in 1987 and the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1988.
Akers was a two-time national player of the year, and was named to the 1984, ‘86, ‘87 and ‘88 All-Southeast Region teams, and won the first-ever Hermann Trophy for Women’s Soccer in 1988. She had her #10 jersey retired by the school, and was inducted into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
Akers’ career with the U.S. Women’s National Team is the stuff of legend. She help led Team USA to the 1991 and 1999 World Cups, along with the gold medal in 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and gold in the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Her biggest moments came in the biggest games. In the 1991 World Cup Final, she scored both of Team USA’s goals in their 2-1 win over Norway.
Eight years later, she gutted through a dislocated shoulder, a concussion, and the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome to help hold China scoreless, setting the stage for the Americans’ dramatic penalty kick victory at the Rose Bowl. Akers was in the locker room getting an I.V. when Brandi Chastain scored the winning goal.
Akers was the USWNT’s second all-time leading scorer behind only teammate Mia Hamm with 105 goals, 37 assists, and 247 points in 153 matches. In 1998, she was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit, the highest honor a player can earn from FIFA, in honor of her contributions to the game.
So there they are: The 80 greatest female athletes in UCF history. Did we get it right? Let us know below.