University of Florida
junior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.)
was named MVP after collecting a match-high 13 kills on .303 hitting as No. 7
Florida swept St. Johnís
30-19, 30-22, 30-19 to conclude play at the Conference Challenge on Saturday at
the Champions Sports Complex.
Florida (28-2) won its 20th
straight match of the season and will enter NCAA Championship play with at
least 28 victories for the 12th time in Mary Wiseís 16 seasons as
head coach. The Gators out-hit St.
Johnís (30-4) .389-.064 and finished with more kills
(55-35) digs (55-36) and blocks 16.5-3.0.
a team with 30 wins and a significant amount of international experience,Ē Wise
said. ďWe donít normally see a lot of things that they do and for us to have
such a good match against them shows the maturity of this team. We blocked well
again and the blocking of our team can lead to quick points.Ē
setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser,
Mich.) joined Hampton on the All-Tournament team after
registering 43 assists, eight digs, six blocks and six kills on .667 hitting.
Freshman middle blocker Kristina Johnson
led all players with seven total blocks and added eight kills on .727 hitting,
while sophomore middle blocker Kelsey
Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) added six blocks and six kills.
Junior Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona,
Fla.) finished in double figures in kills
with 10 on .467 hitting, while freshman Elyse
Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) collected a match-high 16 digs.
Junior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas)
chimed in with 11 kills on .500 hitting, while senior defensive specialist Rhian Davis (Austin, Texas)
had a strong serving match that included a 10-0 run in game three.
ace in the match, Davis moved into a tie for
second in Florida
history for career service aces by defensive specialists/liberos with 71.
Bowers moved into fourth place in UF history for single season blocks by a
sophomore and now has 158.
Gators have now finished undefeated in nine of 11 Thanksgiving tournaments
played under Wise and sport a 21-2 record in those matches.
opening game was close until the Gators went on an 8-2 run to gain a
substantial lead in a 30-19 win. After a kill by St. Johnís
made the score 5-4 in favor of UF, the Gators rattled off eight of the next 10
points to move on top 13-6 after a kill from Hampton. St. Johnís
never really threatened Florida after that
point before Hampton
closed out the game with a kill. The Gators hit a season-best .581 in the game
with 20 kills on 31 attempts with just two errors, while St. Johnís hit .178. Hampton
led all players with six kills on .455 hitting with freshman defensive
specialist Alli Cecchini (Brentwood, Calif.)
collecting a game high eight digs.
second game was tight until Florida
broke an 18-18 tie and scored 12 of the final 16 points in a 30-22 victory. The
teams sided out early and often in the opening stages of the game with neither
squad building an advantage larger than three points. After a UF error gave St. Johnís an 18-17 advantage, Florida out-scored the Red Storm 12-5 to
close out the game. The Gators tallied three straight to move out in front
20-18 after a kill from McCray before St.
Johnís battled back within one at 21-20. But Floridaís block came
alive as UF recorded tandem blocks by McGinnis and Bowers on the next two
points as the Gators went ahead 23-20. The Red Storm came within two at 24-22,
but UF tallied the final six points of the game behind the serve of McGinnis
and three kills by Johnson to close out the game. Florida
out-hit St. Johnís
.400 to .095 in the game with McCray leading all players with seven kills on
.462 hitting. Cusack tied for game-high honors with five digs, while the Gators
totaled 7.0 blocks led by McGinnisí four.
Storm took control early in the final game before a 10-0 Gator run propelled UF
to a 30-19 victory. St. Johnís started strong
with six of the first seven points before the Gators gradually came back and
tied the game at 9-9 on an ace from Davis Ė the second point of the 10-0 run.
The Gator block again made its presence felt as Hampton and Johnson combined
for three tandem blocks in the run and Florida found itself ahead 17-9 before
the Red Storm ended the run. St. Johnís never
came closer than seven points the rest of the way before the match ended with a
block. The Gators out-hit St. Johnís .238 to
-.105 in the game as UF collected 7.5 total blocks with Hampton recording five. McCray, Killingsworth
and Hampton each had four kills in the game to pace UF, while Cusack had a
game-high seven digs.
Florida will await its NCAA Championship
destination as the selection show will air on Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPNews. Florida has made the
NCAA field in each of Wiseís 15 seasons as head coach and has the automatic bid
courtesy of winning the programís 16th consecutive Southeastern
No. 15 LSU 3, Marquette 0
Skender led all players with 15 kills and 16.0 points in guiding No. 15 LSU to
a 3-0 sweep of Marquette 30-22, 31-29, 30-16 in the third match overall and
first match on Saturday at the Conference Challenge.
Tigers (26-5) out-hit the Golden Eagles (16-15) .341-.179 in the contest and
collected 11.0 blocks to 3.0 for Marquette.
Melody Clark chimed in with 11 kills, while
Lauren DeGirolamo had a match-high nine blocks and added eight kills on .333
Todd led the Golden Eagles with 13 kills and also added eight digs.
Marcie Hampton -
Angie McGinnis - Florida
Daniela Romero - LSU
Vanessa Freeman - LSU
Melody Clark - LSU
Hui Ping Huang - St. John's
Kimberly Todd - Marquette