In terms of attendance, Volleybowl II at The Venue turned out to be just what UCF wanted.
The only problem was that coach Claire Lessinger and the USF volleyball team walked out with a victory Tuesday night, as the Bulls (6-2) took care of the Knights (8-3) in straight sets.
The Venue was nearly full to capacity of 2,000, as students lined up for hours trying to be among the first 1,000 to grab a free ticket to UCF’s football game against Miami.
USF showed strong performances from senior Marcela Gurgel and junior Allie Boaz, who each had 13 kills. The Bulls were without senior middle blocker Alli Arbogast, who injured her elbow in a loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Freshman Kelsey Palmer stepped into Arbogast’s spot and had a kill.
“Kelsey really did everything we asked of her, which is reassuring,” Lessinger said.
Boaz, however, carried USF most of the match. At one point she was 10-for-11 in attacking. If she had made it 13-for-14, she would have claimed an NCAA record for highest attacking percentage. She finished 13 of 16.
“She just went off,” Lessinger said. “She’s a lefty, which throws off defenses, and she just became unstoppable. (Mariana Thon) did a great job setting up Allie, because she was the hot hand.”
Boaz, who has to wear a knee brace during matches because of a knee injury last year, said she forgot the brace in Tampa.
“The trainers did a great job working with UCF to get me an identical brace to the one I usually wear, so I was able to be comfortable during the match,” she said.
Gurgel claimed the 1,500th kill of her USF career, becoming only the fourth player in program history to reach that plateau.
“The setters did a great job getting us into one-on-one situations,” Gurgel said. “I was focused on helping out the team, so it seemed easy.”