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Mary Wise won the 500th match of her career at Florida

Friday September 15, 2006No. 6 VB Sweeps Georgia; Wise Claims 500th Win At UF

ATHENS, Ga.

Mary Wise won the 500th match of her career at Florida

University 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.

 

Wise won 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.

 

“We thought 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.”

 

Wise 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.

 

The Gators improved to 16-0 all-time under Wise in Southeastern Conference openers and won their 17th consecutive meeting against the Bulldogs in Athens.

 

Junior 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.

 

Junior 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.

 

The Gators 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 (Brentwood, Calif.) paced Florida with five digs each. Florida recorded 5.0 blocks in the game, led by Bowers, who totaled three.

 

The second 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.

 

 

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