The first of the 16 seeds fell on opening day as FGCU upset No. 13 UCF at home. Three teams won in sweeps – Texas, Wisconsin and Florida – while three matches went the distance, with FGCU, Pepperdine and Baylor advancing.
In its first-ever NCAA Division-I Tournament match, the FGCU volleyball team (27-6) knocked off 13th-seeded UCF 17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 14-25, 15-7 in the first round on Thursday.
Six American Athletic Conference volleyball teams earned postseason bids, as No 21 UCF and Cincinnati prepare for the NCAA Tournament, while USF, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State were each selected to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) field.
Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson picked up her second career Player of the Year nod, while teammate Jade Tingelhoff was tabbed as American Athletic Conference Setter of the Year. UCF’s McKenna Melville earned Freshman of the Year acclaim, while Wichita State’s Giorgia Civita was named Libero of the Year.
With only one match, a win for No. 21 UCF would make the Knights the third American team in six seasons to complete an undefeated conference slate, joining Louisville (2013) and Wichita State (2017).
UCF’s McKenna Melville earned fourth weekly conference honor, while SMU’s Montana Watts collected her second American Athletic Conference award.
The league title is the Knights’ ninth in program history and earns the team its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014.
With three weeks left in the regular-season race, UCF remains atop the American Athletic Conference standings and clinch a portion of the league title with two more wins, but Cincinnati (11-2), Tulane (9-4) and Tulsa (9-4) are still in contention for the crown.
American Athletic Conference volleyball teams will begin their November slates on Thursday, as home teams went 11-1 through the final weekend of October.
The American Athletic Conference has announced the winners of the league’s weekly volleyball honors: UCF outside hitter McKenna Melville and USF middle blocker Clara Payne.