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Friday August 31, 2007Rivers' 10 Kills Lead No. 7 VB To 3-0 Sweep Over Georgia Southern

Gainesville, FL

The seventh-ranked University of Florida volleyball team used a career-high 10 kills from freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) to post a 3-0 (30-16, 30-25, 30-19) win over Georgia Southern on Friday in the second match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational.

 

Rivers added a pair of aces to her 10 kills, as UF recorded seven service aces for the third match in a row. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Janine Williams (Gainesville, Fla.) led all participants with five total blocks, sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) turned in a match-high 14 digs and senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) paced the field with 24 assists. Twelve of the 14 players on the UF roster saw action in the victory.

 

“We hope to be able to put any combination of six players on the court and still be difficult to defend,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “We did a good job of mixing things up today, and that will hopefully be a reoccurring theme. The depth of our team allows us to see what certain lineups are able to do. We left some blocks out there today, and we’ll keep working to get better in that area.”

 

The Gators hit a season-high .370, including a .429 mark in the third game, while holding GSU to a .095 clip. Five UF players hit better than .300 on the day, led by a .700 rating (7k, 10 TA) on the part of senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.).

 

Sophomore middle blocker Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) came up with eight kills on .583 hitting, and Williams also recorded eight while chipping in with a pair of aces. Sophomore setter Alli Cecchini (Brentwood, Calif.) saw the most significant setting time of her career and posted a personal-best 12 assists to triple her previous high, while junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) helped out on a season-high four blocks.

 

The Gators took eight of the match’s first 10 points, benefiting from a service ace by McGinnis and consecutive kills from senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) during the run, to force an early Georgia Southern timeout. Rivers came out hot after the break, serving back-to-back aces to help widen UF’s lead to 11-3. After GSU cut the margin to five, a pair of kills by both Williams and McGinnis brought the lead back to eight at 16-8. The Eagles managed to record a kill on the next rally, but Florida won the next three points, opening a 10-point lead on McGinnis’ third kill of the frame. UF’s lead grew to as large as 12 in the game, with McGinnis leading the way with four kills and Rivers, McCray and Killingsworth each picking up three as the Gators hit .395 as a unit.

 

The teams traded the first eight points of game two before consecutive kills gave Georgia Southern a 6-4 lead, but Florida battled back to tie the score at 7-7 on a Rivers kill. Four kills by Johnson and a GSU error accounted for Florida’s next five points to open a 12-9 lead for the Orange and Blue, but the Eagles stormed back to within a point, 16-15. UF captured the next four points on the strength of two McGinnis kills, forcing a timeout by Georgia Southern with the score at 20-15. GSU cut the Gators’ lead to two, 23-21, but Johnson delivered her sixth kill of the game and Cusack ripped an ace to push the lead back up to four. UF took five of the game’s last nine points to win the frame, 30-25, and head into the intermission with a 2-0 lead. Florida outhit the Eagles, .286-.143, in the game, and nearly doubled GSU’s dig total, 14-8.

 

UF got out to a 7-0 lead in game three, with a block solo from Williams and a block assist by Killingsworth and McCray highlighting the run, and the scoreboard read 9-1 in UF’s favor before GSU called its first timeout. Kills by Killingsworth and Rivers helped the Gators open up an 11-3 advantage, and the lead reached nine, 15-6, a few minutes later courtesy of a kill by McCray. The edge stretched to 11, 23-12, on a GSU attack error, and didn’t fall below nine for the remainder of the match. Killingsworth paced the Gators with four kills in the game, and the team’s .429 hitting efficiency was a season single-game high.

 

Florida will take the court again tonight at 7:30 p.m. to meet N.C. State in the fourth match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational. The action can be heard on Rock 104, and also at www.GatorZone.com.

 

Match One: Santa Clara 3, N.C. State 0

The opening match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational saw No. 19 Santa Clara earn a 3-0 sweep of N.C. State (30-22, 30-25, 30-23). Lindsy Evans led all players with 14 kills for Santa Clara (4-0), while teammate Brittany Lowe tallied 13 kills on .435 hitting.

 

Lauren Zaniboni paced N.C. State (3-2) with 10 kills, and Nikki Sweet’s 11 digs tied for the match high.

 

 

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