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Volleyball Begins NCAA Run vs. High Point

Knights back in Tournament for third straight year

McKenna Melville Volleyball
McKenna Melville
Photo Courtesy: UCF Athletics

The UCF Knights Volleyball team is back in a familiar situation in an unfamiliar place on Wednesday as they play High Point in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Omaha.

The match will be televised via ESPN3 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s a quick preview.

About UCF

  • 16-1 Overall, 8-0 in The American
  • AAC Champs three years in a row
  • Third straight NCAA appearance
  • Last NCAA Tournament win: 2019 vs. Florida State (First Round)
  • All-Conference Players: McKenna Melville (#20), Anne-Marie Watson (#32), Nerissa Moravec (#7)

About High Point

  • 16-0, 16-0 in the Big South
  • Big South Champs for third time in last five seasons
  • Fourth NCAA appearance in last five seasons
  • Never won an NCAA Tournament match
  • All-Conference Players: Annie Sullivan (#17), Abby Bottomley (#19), Kaley Rammelsberg (#13), Madison Smith (#3), Gabrielle Idlebird (#11), Maria Miggins (#7) and Mackenzi Thornburg (#15). Bottomley, Sullivan and Rammelsberg went 1-2-3 in the Big South’s Player of the Year voting.

What to Watch For

Watch Eric Lopez’s interview with former UCF Knight and current ESPN+ analyst Erin Campbell as they break down UCF’s NCAA match-ups:

McKenna Melville: This is her stage. The reigning AAC Player of the Year (4.58 kills/set) has been the focal point for the Knights in each of her three seasons, and when UCF needs a play, she always comes up with it. Expect her to be a big factor on the left side.

The Other Side: One of the keys for UCF is what production UCF gets on the right side, opposite Melville. UCF tends to struggle if teams key on Anne-Marie Watson and shut her down offensively (see the Tulane match last week). However, if Watson, who made all-conference again this season, is solid offensively, this will be a quick afternoon.

Block Party: Watch for UCF’s middles, primarily Kathryn Wesolich and Nerissa Moravec, to dominate on defense with Watson, and attack the middle of the floor on offense. If the setters can set them up in opportune times, that will dramatically expand the offensive opportunities for Melville, Watson, Tali Marmen and MaKenzie Chambers.

Hear from the Knights

McKenna Melville

Head Coach Todd Dagenais

First Serve

3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3.