Photo courtesy of UCF Athletics.

The UCF volleyball team swept the Houston Cougars 3-0 Friday at The Venue, improving their American Athletic Conference winning streak to six straight games.

After the Cougars took the lead to start the first two sets, the Knights came back in both and took a dominant lead in the third to win the match in three straight sets (27-25, 25-19, 25-15).

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UCF sophomore outside hitter McKenna Melville stopped the Cougars’ scoring run in the first set, and junior right-side hitter Anne-Marie Watson recorded the set-winning kill for the Knights.

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“We were close in the first set, but I think we were in the right mindset, so I wasn’t really worried,” Melville said. “Our mindset was attacking them and pushing them, and making as little errors on our side.”

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Melville finished the game with 18 kills and a .417 hitting percentage on the night, while Watson ended with 12 kills and a .400 hitting percentage. 

“We had to play really, really well just to be able to break away from them,” UCF head coach Todd Dagenais said. “I thought, finally, in the third set was the first time that I felt like we were in control of the match, and that’s when we were scoring points in bunches.”

The home crowd of 549 at The Venue did its part as UCF (15-6, 8-1 AAC) went on to defeat Houston (13-11, 7-2 AA).

Melville also finished out the game with another double-digit figure, ending the match with 12 digs.

“It’s another win in our book, it’s another one in our category,” Melville said. “It’s just another team, we have more teams coming down the road we have to face — tomorrow is a new day. We are going to go work hard and get the next win on Sunday.”

The Knights will be back at The Venue Sunday to face the Tulane Green Wave with hopes to keep their winning streak intact.

The Knights’ last matched up against Tulane in September 2018 and defeat the Green Wave 3-1 while on the road. The Knights hold the all-time series lead 11-8, with the first match going back to before the two teams were in the AAC. 

“We don’t worry about how many wins we have, we don’t count. We don’t have notches in the locker room or anything like that. Winning is the process of doing the little things right,” Dagenais said. “We have a game plan already. We’ll see if we have to tweak that game plan, and we’ll present it to the team tomorrow.”