OCALA-- The College of Central Florida volleyball team opened up the 2019 season with a straight-sets sweep of Florida Gateway College on Thursday night in Lake City, Fla.

The Lady Patriots dusted off the first-game jitters and rolled to a 25-14, 25-18, 25-11 win over the Wolves.

Freshman middle blocker Chloe Melis led CF with 10 kills on the night, while Thalia Cordero notched six kills, Nataly Garcia had five and returner Kariema Rodriguez added four kills. Newcomer and Ocala native Essence Bell held down the back line for the Lady Pats, recording a team-high 22 digs in her debut.

CF came into tonight's season opener ranked No. 4 in the FCSAA preseason polls. The Mid-Florida Conference runner-ups look to reclaim its No. 1 conference spot after dropping its first conference title since the program's inception eight year's ago. It'll be an uphill climb with a tough conference battle between two of the nations top teams, Polk State College and Daytona State College.

CF will open up the home season on Friday when it hosts a two-day tournament that includes two-time defending state and national champions Miami Dade College, Florida SouthWestern State College, Florida Gateway, Gulf Coast State Colleege, and Pasco-Hernando State College. The Lady Patriots will open up the two-day event on Friday at Noon against Gulf Coast and follow it up with a showdown with the defending national champs, Miami Dade, at 4 p.m. On Saturday, CF will have a re-match with Gateway at 10 a.m. and round out the weekend against FSW at 2 p.m. Admission for the two-day tournament is just $5 at the door.

For the complete 2019 volleyball schedule, click here.