Wednesday October 25, 2006Killingsworth Leads No. 7 VB To 11th Straight Win
Killingsworth led all players with 21 kills
Killingsworth led all players with 21 kills
Junior Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) finished with a match-high 21 kills on .333 hitting as the No. 7 University of Florida volleyball team defeated Auburn 3-1 (30-17, 30-22, 29-31, 30-27) to claim the squad’s 11th consecutive victory on Wednesday evening at the Student Activities Center.
Florida (19-2 overall, 12-1 Southeastern Conference) defeated the Tigers (12-12, 4-9) for the 25th straight time and improved to 11-0 on the road against the Tigers under head coach Mary Wise. The Gators claimed their 19th victory in their first 21 matches for the sixth consecutive season and ran their winning streak against SEC Western Division teams to 73. Florida finished with more kills (73-57), digs (68-64) and blocks (11.0-9.0) and out-hit Auburn .302-.181.
“As the Auburn outside hitters go, Auburn goes,” Wise said. “I’m disappointed in our performance in game three. Road wins are supposed to be difficult and Auburn turned really it on. You can see why they’re a dangerous team. As well as we played early, we gave away some points as well.”
Four Gators finished in double figures in kills led by Killingsworth’s 18. Junior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) was right behind with 16 kills on .481 hitting with six block assists, while sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) added 13 kills and five blocks. Junior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) collected 58 assists and 13 digs for her 19th career double-double.
Freshman libero Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) and junior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) tied for the match high with 15 digs each.
The opening game was close in the early stages before a 9-1 Florida stretch gave UF an insurmountable lead in a 30-17 win. The Gators got off to a good start by scoring five of the first seven points in moving out to a 5-2 advantage with three different players recording kills in the run. The Tigers responded with a 6-1 run to forge ahead 8-6 before the Gators eventually tied things up at 10-10 on a Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) kill down the middle. After that, Florida tallied five more points behind the serve of McGinnis, who recorded an ace in the run as the Gator lead swelled to 15-10. Auburn came as close as three at 15-12, but Florida put nine of the next 10 points on the board with Cusack serving five of the points as the Gators went on top 24-13 before Killingsworth ended the game with a kill from the left side. Florida out-hit Auburn .424-.022 in the game with McCray pacing all players with five kills. The Gators recorded 4.0 team blocks in the game with Bowers collecting three block assists. Cusack led all players with five digs in the game.
Auburn played UF tighter in the second game, but the Gators gradually pulled away in a 30-22 win. Florida jumped out to an early lead after recording six of the first nine points as four different players tallied kills in the run. The Tigers narrowed the gap to a pair at 8-6 before Florida notched five of the next seven points in moving on top 13-8 after a kill from the pipe by Hampton. The Tigers didn’t go away and came as close as two at 14-12, but Florida immediately answered with the next three points on an Auburn service error, a Hampton kill and a Bowers kill on an overpass. The Gators gradually pulled away with the Tigers never coming closer than four the rest of the way before Killingsworth sealed the game with a kill from the left side. The Gators out-hit Auburn .273-.135 in the game with Killingsworth leading all players with seven kills with McCray adding four. Hampton led all players with six digs in the game.
Auburn refused to go away and closed out a see-saw game three with a 31-29 win. The Gators opened up an early three-point lead after McCray slammed home a kill from the right side before the Tigers then put five of the next six points on the scoreboard to move out in front 9-8. Florida scored three of the next four points on a pair of kills from Bowers and a Johnson kill down the middle to regain the lead at 11-10. Auburn wrestled control away from the Gators by scoring the next three points to go in front 13-11. The teams sided out from there with Florida eventually tying things up at 18-18, but Auburn scored the next two points to lead 20-18. The Gators didn’t back down in scoring the next three points on an Auburn service error, a solo block from junior middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and a Killingsworth kill through the block as UF took the lead at 21-20. Auburn tied the game at 21-21 and 22-22 before moving in front at 23-22. The Gators tied it at 23-23 after a Hampton kill from the left side, but Auburn again went ahead after a kill at 24-23. Florida answered with three straight points on a kill from Bowers and a pair of errors from the Tigers to go in front 26-24. Auburn didn’t go away and came back to tie the game at 26-26 before Hampton again put UF in front with a kill at 27-26. The Tigers again responded with the next two points to take a 28-27 advantage before Killingsworth tied the game at 28-28 with a kill down the middle. Auburn notched the next point to set up a game point, but Florida responded with another Killingsworth kill to tie things at 29-29. The Tigers put the finishing touches on the game by recording the final two points. Killingsworth again led the Gators with eight kills in the game, while Hampton collected five. Cusack paced UF with five digs in the game.
Florida opened the fourth game in good shape in using a 4-0 run to take an early 8-5 advantage following an ace from Hampton. The Tigers closed the gap to one at 8-7 before a Bowers kill from the right side put UF ahead 9-7. Auburn responded with the next six points to build a four-point advantage at 13-9. The Gators battled back with four of the next five and came within one at 14-13 after a McCray kill on a tip. The teams sided out from there until Auburn tallied three consecutive points to move in front 19-15 before the run ended with a Tiger error. The squads resumed side-out scoring until Florida put a trio of points on the scoreboard on a Killingsworth kill from the left side, a Johnson kill down the middle and a tandem block from Killingsworth and Johnson to pull the Gators within one at 21-20. After an Auburn timeout, Killingsworth tied the game at 21-21 with a kill before the Tigers came back with the next two in pulling ahead 23-21. Florida responded with another Killingsworth kill followed by a tandem block from Johnson and McCray to tie the game at 23-23. The teams traded points and tied each other at 24-24 and 25-25 before Florida re-took the lead after a solo block from Bowers at 26-25. Auburn called its final timeout, but freshman defensive specialist Alli Cecchini (Brentwood, Calif.) gave UF a two-point lead with an ace. After an Auburn kill, Bowers put the Gators in front 28-26 with a kill before adding another to set up match point at 29-26. Hampton served out of bounds to make it 29-27 before the match ended when Auburn recorded a service error.
Florida returns to action on Sunday when the Gators travel to Tuscaloosa for a 2:30 p.m. (ET) match against Alabama. The contest will air live on WRUF-AM 850 and www.GatorZone.com.