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UCF Fall Sports Knight Cap: Volleyball

We look back at Volleyball’s 5th-straight season as AAC Champion

Derek Warden

This past fall season of UCF Knights sports saw one team return to places it has not seen in years, another team continue its run of NCAA Tournament appearances, and another team fall short in its final season in The American.

Our special multi-part post-fall Knight Cap looks back on the seasons of UCF’s fall Olympic Sports and where each program stands as it heads into an offseason of conference transition.

Today, we look at the Volleyball team.

This Season

Overall Record: 28-2

Conference Record: 19-1

Key Wins: vs. Miami (FL), @ Kansas, vs. Houston, vs. Yale (NCAA 1st Round)

Losses: @Houston, vs. Penn State (NCAA 2nd Round)

  • 5th-straight time UCF has captured at least a share of the AAC Title.
  • 5th-straight time UCF has made an NCAA Tournament Appearance.
  • 2nd-highest single-season team hitting percentage in program history (.315).

Let’s Talk About It

Outside Hitter McKenna Melville, Right-Side Kari Zumach, and Defensive Specialist Dresden Pass join the Banneret’s Bryson Turner and Eric Lopez to recap the UCF Volleyball team’s 2022 season:

Melville’s Finest Hour

The 2022 season saw Outside Hitter McKenna Melville put the cap on what was a historic career, not just for UCF, but NCAA Volleyball at large.

She was a national leader offensively, leasing the nation this season in Kills Per Set (5.51) and Point Per Set (6.12). She was also 7th in the nation in total kills (573), and points (636).

However, this season also saw Melville’s career numbers elevate her place in the program’s and the NCAA’s record books.

McKenna Melville’s Final Career Stats:

  • 2,563 Kills (8th-most in NCAA History, Most in UCF Volleyball History)
  • 1,650 Digs (3rd-most in UCF History, Most in UCF History by a Non-Defensive Specialist/Libero)
  • 66 Block Solos (7th-most in UCF History)
  • 301 Total Blocks (12th-most in UCF History)
  • 123 Service Aces (9th-most in UCF History)
  • 4.81 Kills Per Set (2nd-most in UCF History)
  • 3.10 Digs Per Set (6th-most in UCF History)

To put the icing on the cake, she was awarded UCF’s most prestigious student award, the Order of Pegasus before the season began, and became the first UCF Volleyball player to be named a First-Team All-American.

Other Individual Success

While Melville finished off a historic UCF career, she was supported by a group of women that proved to be the class of The American, with three Knights joining her on the All-AAC 1st Team:

  • The setter that had been with Melville her whole career, Amber Olson not only got her 5th conference championship, but she finished off her career with 3,992 assists, the 3rd-most in program history, and 120 service aces, the 10th-most in program history.
  • Middle Blocker Abby Hansen totaled 127 blocks on her season. Her 116 Block assists tied her for the 10th-most block assists in a single season in program history with Tyra Harper’s 1995 season.
  • Middle Blocker Claudia Dillon led the nation with a .447 hitting percentage and upped her Kills per set total from 1.88 in 2021 to 2.02 this season.

Only one Knight was named to the All-AAC 2nd Team, and that was right-side Kari Zumach, a transfer from Indiana. She finished with 230 kills, the most on the team by someone not named McKenna Melville.

To learn more about Melville’s journey through the program, check out Bryson Turner’s profile on her from 2021 here.