ORLANDO, Fla. – After winning three straight tournaments and having its best start since 1978, the Jacksonville University volleyball team – No. 1 in the Atlantic Sun – lost 3-1 against the AAC’s No. 2 ranked Central Florida (21-25, 25-18, 15-25, 17-25).
UCF’s Angelica Crump recorded a match-high 23 kills to help the Knights pull away. Along with Crump, the Knights (9-3) had double-digit kills from DeLaina Sarden (15) and Loren Cory (11), while Marie Reiterova tallied a team-high 16 digs and Jade Hayes followed with 12.
"UCF was very effective with their hitting and we had a hard time hanging in there with them,” said head JU coach Michelle Collier. “The team fought hard and I am proud of what we were able to accomplish this pre-season."
“Now it's back to the gym to prepare for FGCU."
Taylor Nyquist led the Dolphins (9-1) with 14 kills in the loss and Gabriela Roman followed with nine. Rachel Miller tallied a match-high 18 digs, Mayara Prestes had 11 and Nyquist recorded eight. Kylie Jacob led the match with six blocks.
In the first set, it wasn’t until a 12-11 score that JU earned its first lead on Prestes’ kill from Jizzian Gesualdo. UCF then scored twice to take a 13-12 lead. It was back-and-forth from that point until UCF garnered a larger break away of 23-19 after three straight points on a service error, kill and attack error. It was Taylor Gallart’s kill that won the set for UCF at 25-21.
JU tied the match 1-all after taking the second set 25-18. UCF opened with three straight points before one each and JU tallied three of its own for a 4-4 tie. UCF moved to hold the advantage at 12-10 before the Dolphins came storming back with six straight for a 16-12 lead. UCF then earned a point on an attack error before JU sat 20-13 and eventually took the set.
UCF dominated the third taking another 3-0 step ahead and generally led by two or three points. The Knights totaled four three-straight tallies from 1-0 to 3-0, 8-6 to 10-6, 14-9 to 16-9, and 22-14 to 24-14 in addition to one four-point run from 17-12 to 20-12.
The Knights took the match in the fourth set, scoring five straight from 16-14 to 20-14 and running away with a 25-17 final.
Jacksonville starts A-Sun action this weekend, competing at Florida Gulf Coast on Friday at 6 p.m. and at Stetson on Saturday at 3 p.m.