of Florida coach Mary Wise claimed the 500th victory of her career
at UF as the sixth-ranked Gators defeated Georgia 3-0 (30-21, 30-24, 30-21) to
win the school’s 41st straight match against the Bulldogs on Friday
evening at the Ramsey Center.
her 500th match in just her 552nd contest at UF – which
is believed to make her the fastest coach in NCAA Division I history to win 500
matches at one school. Junior Kisya
Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) led the Gators with 17 kills and
12 digs. Florida
(8-1, 1-0) finished with more kills (48-38), digs (62-52) and blocks (13.0-8.0)
and out-hit the Bulldogs (4-7, 0-1) .252-.104.
Kisya would have to have a big match and she did that tonight,” Wise said. “She
had 17 kills and 12 digs out of the back row from a position she’s not used to
playing. As for the win, it was special because former Gator Steffi Legall (Georgia’s
head coach) was on the floor. She’s one of the players that helped get things
started and that made it special.”
improved to 40-0 all-time against Georgia
in becoming just the second coach in the 100-plus year history of Florida athletics to
amass as many as 500 wins as a Gator coach. Former baseball coach Dave Fuller
(1948-76) is the only other UF coach to accomplish the feat (557 wins). Of
Wise’s 500 victories at Florida,
389 have been three-game sweeps.
improved to 16-0 all-time under Wise in Southeastern Conference openers and won
their 17th consecutive meeting against the Bulldogs in Athens.
setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser,
Mich.) also fared well on the evening with
38 assists, 10 digs, five kills and four blocks, while freshman middle blocker Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.)
added nine kills on .400 hitting with five blocks.
opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview,
Texas) finished in double figures in points for the ninth consecutive match
this season with eight kills and five blocks
(11. 5 points). Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville,
Fla.) added six kills and
seven block assists.
had little trouble in disposing of the Bulldogs in the opening game in a 30-21
win. Florida started strong, racing out to a
7-2 lead and forcing Georgia
to call a timeout. Johnson provided the offense in the stretch for the Gators
with a pair of kills. The stop in play did little to slow momentum as the
Gators increased their advantage to 15-6 after a Bulldog attack error to force
a second UGA timeout. Georgia
did battle back within five at 15-10 and later four points at 16-12, but the
Gators responded with a 7-2 run to move out in front 23-14 after a tandem block
from Bowers and McGinnis. Georgia
cut its deficit to five at 23-18, but the Gators eventually sealed the game
with a tandem block from McCray and Johnson. UF hit .394 in the game to just .106
for the Bulldogs with Killingsworth leading the Gators with five kills with
McGinnis adding four. Senior defensive specialist Rhian Davis (Austin, Texas)
and freshman defensive specialist Alli Cecchini
with five digs each. Florida
recorded 5.0 blocks in the game, led by Bowers, who totaled three.
game was a tight affair until a 7-0 run propelled Florida to a 30-24 win. The Gators jumped
out to a 6-2 lead with McCray providing a pair of early kills. The Bulldogs
tied things up at 6-6 and the two squads sided out from there until the Gators
recorded a 5-2 run to move ahead 15-11 following a McCray kill from the right
side. But Georgia
again came back and had one-point leads at 17-16 and 18-17. Then the Gators
stormed back with a 7-0 run behind the serve of Bowers. Killingsworth had a
pair of kills in the run as Florida’s
advantage swelled to 24-18. The Bulldogs cut the lead to five at 26-21 and
28-23, but the Gators ended the game with a Bowers kill on a slide play. Killingsworth
paced the Gators with six kills in the game with McGinnis adding a team-high
six digs and McCray chiming in with three blocks.
Florida used an 8-0 run in the opening
stages of the third game before cruising to a 30-21 win. With the Bulldogs down
by just a point at 6-5, Florida
mounted an 8-0 run to build their advantage to an insurmountable 14-5. Junior
outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.)
fueled the run with her serve as she had a pair of aces with Bowers adding a
pair of block assists. Georgia
came as close as five points at 18-13, but the Gators eventually ended the
match on a kill over the middle by Johnson. Killingsworth led the Gators in
both kills and digs in the game with five of each, while Bowers added another
three block assists.
Florida returns to action on Sunday when the Gators cap their
three-matches in six days, three-state road swing by taking on South Carolina at 1:30
p.m. (ET). The contest will air live on Cox Sports (channel 67 in Gainesville ) as well as
Rock 104 and www.GatorZone.com.