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Sunday September 30, 2007Hampton and Rivers Lead No. 6 VB To 3-1 Win Over Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton fired a team-best 15 kills on Sunday.

Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) tallied a team-high 15 kills and freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) recorded her first-career double-double to lead the sixth-ranked University of Florida volleyball team to a 3-1 (30-26, 30-28, 30-32, 30-24) road win over Alabama on Sunday.

 

The Gators (13-0, 6-0 SEC) earned the victory on the strength of 11 aces and 11.0 total blocks as a team. Freshman defensive specialist Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.) fired a career-best four aces to lead the charge from behind the line, while senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) notched a team-high five total blocks.

 

“Not our best offensive day, but we did the little things to come up with the win,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “Erin Fleming had a terrific day serving the ball, and we made a lot of hustle plays today. It’s never easy to win on the road in the SEC, and I was proud of the way we stepped up when we needed to today.”

(Killingsworth needs three blocks to become fifth player in school history with 1,000 kills and 300 blocks)

 

Rivers and Hampton were joined in double figures in the kill department by senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.), who chipped in with a dozen. Killingsworth also added four total blocks to become just the fifth player in school history with 1,000 kills and 300 blocks for her career.

 

Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) posted a season-high 29 digs, marking her 12th-career match with at least 20. Rivers completed her double-double with a career-best tying 10 digs. McGinnis handed out 49 assists in the win, while also killing six balls on .400 hitting.

 

The Gators took an early 4-1 lead in game one on a strong serving run by freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.), but the Tide battled back to tie the score at 5-5. The teams traded the next six points to make the score 8-8 before an Alabama service error and kills by junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) and Rivers sprung UF to an 11-8 edge. Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) rocketed a kill off hands on the next point to force a UA timeout with the score 12-8 in the Gators’ favor. The Orange and Blue took the first two points after the stoppage to increase its lead to 14-8, and Rivers stepped up minutes later with an ace to run the margin to 16-10. Senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) turned in an ace of her own in the ensuing minutes to extend the Gators’ lead to 19-13, and an Alabama ball-handling error on the next rally sent the game into another UA timeout with Florida on top, 20-13. The Tide went on a 4-0 run following the break to cut their deficit to three points, but a series of UA miscues allowed Florida to maintain a lead that varied between three and four points. A double block by Hampton and Bowers forced game point at 29-23, and Bowers hammered home her fourth kill of the frame to close out game-one action, 30-26. Senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) also added four kills in the opening game.

 

Florida took its first lead of game two at 4-3 as Rivers won a joust at the net to ignite an 8-1 UF run that gave the visitors an 8-4 lead. After a long rally, Hampton took a back set from sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) and fired a cross-court kill to extend the Gators’ lead to 12-8. Cusack opened her next serving turn with an ace to make the count 16-10, and Killingsworth finessed a kill to the back line on the next rally to force Alabama to call a timeout with UF leading by a 17-10 margin. The Gators’ lead reached double figures, 24-14, on a UA blocking error, and Florida’s lead reached 11 on three occasions, each by way of a Hampton kill. Game point came also came courtesy of a Hampton kill, and Rivers fired a cross-court winner to send UF into the intermission with a 30-28 win in game two. Hampton had eight kills on 11 swings in the frame, and Florida piled up five aces in the game en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the match.

 

Senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) got UF going in game three with consecutive kills on the angle, but the play was tight in the early going. A McGinnis block solo gave Florida a 6-4 edge, and she followed that not long after with a kill to make the score 8-5 in the Gators’ favor. After the Tide had cut the margin to one, McCray and Bowers combined on a block to keep the Gators out in front and spark a 5-1 UF run that stretched the lead to 16-11. Alabama fought back to tie the match at 18-18, but the Gators rebounded to take a 21-19 lead after forcing the Tide into a pair of attack errors. Two kills from Killingsworth helped Florida extend its lead to 26-23, and a block assist by McGinnis and Bowers on the next rally prompted Alabama to call its second timeout of the frame. With UF leading 27-26, Hampton ripped a kill down the right side to put the Gators up two, but Alabama took the next three points to take a 29-28 lead. Sophomore middle blocker Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) came up with her first kill of the day to tie the score, but the Tide jumped out in front by a point on the next exchange. A Rivers kill on the next point made the score 30-30, but the Tide took the next two points to take game three, 32-30.

 

Killingsworth gave UF its first lead of game four, 4-3, with her second block solo of the afternoon. The action was neck-and-neck from the outset, but the Gators ran out on a 4-0 spurt make the count 15-10 at the media timeout. A Killingsworth ace gave the Gators a 20-13 lead, but the Crimson Tide took the next four points to crawl within three and prompt a UF timeout. The Gators came out of the break firing, taking the first four points on McGinnis’ serve to open a seven-point advantage, 24-17. With the score 28-24 in the Gators’ favor, Rivers forced match point with a cross-court winner, and a blocking error called on Alabama ended the match by a game-four score of 30-24.

 

UF will return to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for the first time in nearly three weeks on Friday when it faces off with Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET. The match can be heard on WRUF-AM 850, as well as www.GatorZone.com, and GatorVision Online subscribers can watch the action live via the Internet.

 

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