NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (November 8, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team was swept by UCF (21-25, 18-25, 21-25) to open a five-game homestand Friday evening at the College Ave Gym. With the loss, RU falls to 4-22, 0-12, while the Knights improve to 17-7, 8-3. The Knights entered tonight’s contest tied for third in the American Athletic Conference standings.
“UCF is one of the top teams in our conference. There’s no doubt in my mind we can compete with the best in our league and we’ve shown that,” said head coach C.J. Werneke. “Taking a game off Louisville, being in competitive situations and even taking leads tonight shows it. Unfortunately competing isn’t enough and we have to find a way to win.”
Sophomore outside hitter Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) led the Scarlet Knights with 10 kills. Sophomore libero Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) finished with a team-high 15 digs, while senior defensive speciliast Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) also finished with double-digit digs (10).
Second-year middle blocker Mikaela Matthews (San Diego, Calif.) notched a match-high seven total blocks and also recorded six putdowns on 15 attacks, good for a .333 attack percentage.
The Knights were led by DeLaina Sarden’s 16 kills. Angelica Crump added 14 putdowns for the visitors.
After falling behind 15-3 to begin the first set, the Scarlet Knights were able to form an 11-3 run midway to chip away at the deficit and ultimately came as close as four points at 24-20. The hosts were able to deny the Knights’ game-point on multiple occasions, until a kill by Sarden closed out the win.
The second set was close throughout, with neither team getting ahead by more than two points. With the score tied at 16 however, UCF outscored Rutgers by a 9-2 margin for the seven-point win. Rutgers rebounded in the third stanza by coming out of the gate strong and leading the visitors early on. Werneke’s squad led by as many as five points (14-9), until the Knights rallied and formed a 13-2 spurt to take a 22-16 advantage. Rutgers threatened to come back late, but a kill from Angelica Crump ended the set and match.
RU returns home Sunday at 2 p.m., as the team welcomes USF to “the Barn”.
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