ORLANDO, FLA. (October 6, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team concluded its first American Athletic Conference road weekend of the season with a straight-set loss to UCF on Sunday afternoon (21-25, 11-25, 19-25).
“Despite the loss, I like the way we showed fight today and turned in a better performance than our last time out,” said head coach C.J. Werneke. “We continue to improve after every match and that’s the progress we are looking for.”
Sophomore defensive specialist Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) tied for the match-high in digs, coming up with 16 in the loss. Second-year outside Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) led the Scarlet Knights’ hitters with eight kills and added seven digs.
Junior rightside Sofi Cucuz (Crown Point, Ind.) and sophomore outside Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) each contributed seven putdowns.
UCF was led by Taylor Gallart’s 11 kills.
Rutgers managed their best offensive performance of the match in the first frame, in which it recorded a .270 attack percentage. Lassa recorded five of her eight total kills in the first set alone on 11 attacks to finish the frame with a .273 clip. RU battled the Knights point-for-point to begin the stanza, until the hosts formed a 5-1 run to take a 17-13 advantage. Rutgers got within a single digit (20-19) following a kill by Lassa, but UCF outscored the visitors by a 5-2 margin for the win.
The Scarlet Knights began the second set exchanging points with the Knights to make the score 5-5. The hosts would ultimately limit Rutgers to just six points in the remainder of the frame to close out the decisive 25-11 win.
Following the intermission, Rutgers found itself down 12-9 midway through the third set but rallied back to even the score at 13. The Scarlet Knights were able to grab a brief one-point lead at 16-15, until the Knights went on a 10-3 spurt to finish out the match.
Rutgers returns to American Athletic Conference action on Friday, Oct. 11 as the team heads to Storrs, Conn. to face UConn at 7 p.m.
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