The UCF Knights Volleyball team’s 2019 season came to an unceremonious end in the NCAA Tournament Second Round in Gainesville, as they were swept by Florida.
It marks the end of the line for five seniors - Erin Olson, Kristina Fisher, Lache Harper, Alli Sabol and Makenzie Kuchmaner - all of whom contributed to a second consecutive 25-plus-win campaign and American Volleyball Championship. Sabol and Olson summed up their last ride afterwards:
We fought for each other all year, and last night was no different. #UCFamily #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/3DlCCE7w97— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) December 7, 2019
For the match, Kristina Fisher led the Knights with 10 kills and McKenna Melville had 9 plus 19 digs.
Head Coach Todd Dagenais addressed the media after the match and provided his evaluation of where this year’s team will stand in UCF history:
We couldn't be prouder of these women and this team.— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) December 7, 2019
Coach thinks they are one of the greatest to ever take the floor at UCF. #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/ZwsZQ0hAWL
UCF’s 2019 campaign erased a lot of the disappointment that shrouded the end of their 2018 season, when a 24-match win streak was snapped by FGCU on the Knights’ home floor in the NCAA first round.
While the Knights didn’t win as many matches as last season, they did defend their American Athletic Conference crown, and did so on their home floor in the first tournament in conference history, beating Cincinnati in a dramatic five-set thriller on national TV.
All that time on the court. All those hours studying film. It was all to get us here.— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) December 5, 2019
Our run at a national title starts right now. #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/f6nFynf0Us
They followed that up with yesterday’s five-set win over Florida State, which accomplished several things:
- First NCAA Tournament win since 2003
- First NCAA Tournament win over an in-state opponent
- First UCF Volleyball senior class to win 20+ matches all four years since 1997
- Win #237 for Dagenais, making him UCF’s all-time winningest head coach
Over time, the disappointment of tonight’s match will be overshadowed by the accomplishments of the most successful UCF Volleyball team since the program moved up from the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Those of us who were lucky enough to witness it certainly won’t forget it. But only those who were in the locker room and on the floor know how truly special it was.
What a season. What a run.— UCF Volleyball (@UCF_Volleyball) December 7, 2019
From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you Knight Nation #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/rQbYvoUns3