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Wednesday September 5, 2007No. 6 VB Powers Past Florida State, 3-1

Gainesville, FL

Four Gators reached double-figure kill totals on Wednesday night to lead the sixth-ranked University of Florida volleyball team to a 3-1 (24-30, 30-11, 30-21, 30-21) victory over Florida State in front of 3,410 fans at the O’Connell Center. The win was UF’s 39th in a row against in-state opponents, and its 16th-straight over FSU.

 

Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) led the way with 16 kills on .333 hitting, while junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded 12, senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) added 11 and senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) chipped in with 10. UF (6-0) hit .379 as a team against the Seminoles (3-3), cracking the .350 barrier for the fourth-consecutive match.

 

UF has out-hit each of its six opponents this season, bettering FSU in hitting efficiency by a margin of .379-.190.

 

Florida State has a lot of weapons, and it’s a reflection of our seniors that we were able to regroup after losing the first game,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “They really took control, and we started playing well when we started blocking balls. The crowd was awesome tonight, and we really fed off their energy.”

 

The Gators posted 16.0 total blocks as a team, led by a match-high eight from Killingsworth, including a career-best seven block assists. Senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) narrowly missed her career high, posting seven total blocks.

 

Senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) led all players with 43 assists, and barely missed a double-double with nine kills. Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) shared match-high dig honors with 15, marking her 10th-straight match in double figures.

 

Hampton finished the match with 39 attacks to take sole possession of fourth place on the UF all-time list, and her four digs moved her past former Gator star Jane Colleymore for eighth-most by a Florida player.

 

UF fell behind early in game one by a score of 13-8, forcing Wise to call her first timeout of the match, but the Seminoles came out of the break and continued to increase the margin. With the score 22-13 in FSU’s favor, Wise called her second timeout of the frame. A pair of Florida State miscues and a kill by senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) helped the Gators start a 3-0 run to get back within six, but they would get no closer than four before the ‘Noles took the game, 30-24. Senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) led UF with four kills in the game, while senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) added three.

 

Consecutive kills by McCray got the Gators out to a quick start in game two, as they jumped to a 2-0 lead. After FSU got a point back, kills by Killingsworth and junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.), and an ace off the hand of sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) made the score 5-1 and forced Florida State to call for an early stoppage of play. UF didn’t cool of during the timeout, however, and a McGinnis kill and an ace from junior defensive specialist Christina Diaz (Hollywood, Fla.) pushed the lead to 9-2 and prompted FSU head coach Todd Kress to burn his second timeout of the stanza. Yet again, UF stayed hot during the break, as McGinnis killed back-to-back balls and redshirt freshman outside hitter Janine Williams (Gainesville, Fla.) to run Florida’s lead to 14-4. UF went on to capture 21 of the game’s last 30 points to even the match at 1-1 with a game-two score of 30-11. Bowers and McCray led all players with four kills apiece in the frame, while Killingsworth put up four total blocks in the effort. After hitting just .235 and tallying only two total blocks in game one, the Gators roared back with a season single-game high .650 efficiency rating and rejected 5.5 shots as a team in the equalizer.

 

Florida raced out to a 6-2 lead in game three on the strength of an ace and a kill by senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.). The lead ranged out to 10-4 with the help of kills by Bowers and Hampton, and after an FSU error and a McGinnis kill, the Seminoles asked for their first timeout of the game trailing 11-4. Hampton and Killingsworth blocked Florida State’s first attempt following the break, and Hampton and McGinnis followed with kills to give UF a 10-point lead, 14-4. The scoreboard read 18-5 in Florida’s favor, courtesy of a Bowers’ ace and a pair of Gator kills, when Kress signaled for his second timeout of the frame just minutes later with UF on an 11-1 run. FSU got back within seven points, 23-16, prompting Wise to ask for a pause in the action. The Seminoles kept the momentum after the break, however, and got within five before a McGinnis kill broke their run. UF capped the game on 7-3 run to reach the final score of 30-21 and grab a 2-1 lead in the match. Hampton ripped eight kills on .667 hitting in the game, as the Orange and Blue hit .447 as a unit.

 

The teams traded the first 10 points of game four, with neither team taking as much as a two-point advantage until FSU led 7-5. That lead was short lived, though, as Bowers scored a kill, McGinnis and Killingsworth combined on a block and Hampton killed a ball to regain an 8-7 lead for UF. The Seminoles battled back to take a 10-9 lead, but two kills and a block assist by Killingsworth put the Gators back in the lead, 12-10. Florida didn’t relinquish the lead for the remainder of the match, finishing the ‘Noles off with an 18-11 run. Bowers, Killingsworth and Williams each tallied four kills to lead the UF attack in the decisive game, while McGinnis turned in four blocks and Killingsworth and Bowers each got three.

 

Florida will return to action on Sunday evening, when they take on Utah at 6 p.m. EST in a rematch of last year’s meeting in Gainesville as part of the Aquafina Invitational. The Gators took that contest, 3-1, behind a triple-double from then-junior McGinnis. The match will be broadcast live on WRUF-AM 850 and at www.GatorZone.com, while CSTV will tape delay the match at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. EST.

 

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