UCF Knights Volleyball Defeats Temple to Secure Third Straight American Athletic Conference Title
By UCF Knights // April 5, 2021
McKenna Melville named conference tournament mvp
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – For the third year in a row, the Knights are American Athletic Conference champions as the UCF volleyball team defeated Temple in the conference tournament championship match on Saturday in Cincinnati, Ohio by a score of 3-1 to lay claim to the conference title.
The win marked UCF’s second straight American Volleyball Tournament Championship win as the Knights also won the inaugural conference tournament in Orlando in 2019, and it is UCF’s third overall conference title as the Knights went undefeated in 2018 to claim the regular-season title.
With the win, the Knights clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska. The Knights will find out more about what their future holds and who they will be playing following the NCAA Championship Selection Show, which will air on ESPNU at 4 p.m. on April 4.
The Knights have only won three consecutive conference titles and made it to the NCAA Tournament twice before in their nearly 50-year history. UCF captured conference titles in every year from 1992-97 and from 2001-03.
The Knights came out hot in set one against Temple on Saturday to win by a score of 25-20. The black and gold hit a powerful .366 on attacks as a team in the opening set, breaking away from a 13-13 tie to jump ahead and stay ahead for the rest of the set.
Temple struck back in set two, jumping out to an 18-14 lead before the Knights responded with eight of the next 12 points to tie things at 22.
With the two sides still tied at 24, Temple would, unfortunately, go on to pull away and claim the second set, 26-24, tying the game at one apiece.
The Knights came back big in the third set, beating the Owls by the largest margin of the night on a 25-13 set victory.
The fourth set was close all the way through as the Owls managed to come to within just a point toward the end, making it a 21-20 score before UCF rallied for the final four points to win the set 25-20, securing the 3-1 win and their third straight conference title.
UCF junior McKenna Melville led all players with 25 kills, hitting .350 in the championship match and even chiming in with 11 digs for her second double-double of the weekend and eighth of the season to be named Most Outstanding Player in the tournament.
It is Melville’s second straight season being named conference tournament MVP as she also won the award in 2019.
Anne-Marie Watson also had a solid day on the court as the senior from Oviedo, Fla. contributed with 13 kills and five blocks to join Melville on the all-tournament team. Nerissa Moravec added nine blocks during the weekend to round out the Knights on the all-tournament team.
With a spot in the NCAA Tournament secured, UCF will next turn its attention to the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, which will air on ESPNU at 4 p.m. on April 4.
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