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Kelsey Bowers turned in a career-high 17 kills to lead the Gators on Friday night.

Friday October 19, 2007Bowers Paces No. 10 VB To 3-1 Win Over Auburn

Auburn, AL

Kelsey Bowers turned in a career-high 17 kills to lead the Gators on Friday night.

Junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) collected career-highs of 17 kills and six digs to lead the 10th-ranked University of Florida volleyball team to a 3-1 (30-24, 29-31, 30-17, 30-20) win over Auburn on Friday night.


Bowers led a quartet of UF players with double-figure kill totals on the night, including 13 by senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.). Freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) killed 12 balls – one shy of her career high – and senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) came off the bench to post 10 on the evening. Senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) was just one kill shy of joining that group, finishing with nine.


“Our offense really played well tonight, and we were spreading the ball around well,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “When you can get double-figure kills from so many different places, you know something is going right. Our veterans played like it tonight, and they really led us to this win.”


Florida hit .309 in the match, led by .615 and .519 clips by Killingsworth and Bowers, respectively. The Gators also ripped off a season-high-tying 12 aces, led by four each from Rivers and freshman defensive specialist Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.), with the former establishing a new career high and the latter matching hers.


UF also posted 15.0 total blocks on the night, led by seven from Bowers, to limit Auburn to .162 hitting. Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) led the Gators with 17 digs, and Hampton came up with 16 to record her 11th double-double of the year. Rivers also notched a double-double on Friday night, finishing with 10 digs to go along with her 10 kills.


McGinnis paced the field with 55 assists on the night, while also adding four kills, five digs, five blocks and an ace to that total.


Sophomore middle blocker Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) each recorded a pair of kills early in game one, helping the Gators grab a 5-4 lead. After Auburn fought back to take a 10-7 edge, UF used kills by junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) and senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) to battle back to within one before Johnson and freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) teamed up on a block to tie the score at 12-12. Freshman defensive specialist Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.) fired Florida’s first ace of the night to make the score 16-14 in favor of the visitors, and Bowers’ fourth kill of the night came just minutes later to force AU to call its first timeout with the Gators’ on top, 19-15. Hampton added a quick kill and Rivers chipped in with back-to-back aces after the break to power Florida to a 7-1 run and a 22-15 lead. Consecutive kills by Hampton and Johnson led to another Tigers timeout with the count at 26-18, and the hosts came out of the stoppage and cut UF’s lead to three at 27-24. The Gators, however, stormed back to take the next three points on the strength of a McCray kill, a double block by Bowers and senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) and a game-clinching Fleming ace, taking the opener by a score of 30-24. The Gators hit .429 in the frame, led by six kills each from McCray and Bowers, while Hampton contributed a half dozen digs.


The Orange and Blue took an early 3-1 lead in game two courtesy of a block assist by Bowers and McGinnis and a kill from Rivers. The margin increased to 9-2 on Rivers’ career-high third ace of the night, and Hampton pushed the lead to 11-5 with a kill and a block solo on consecutive rallies. A 3-0 Florida run increased its advantage to seven points, 17-10, and forced the AU to burn its final timeout of the stanza. Auburn, however, battled back to take the game, 31-29, and even the match at 1-1 heading into the intermission.


Hampton was active in the early part of game three, leading the Gators to a 6-3 lead with a kill and an ace, while Johnson chipped in with two kills of her own. Back-to-back kills by Bowers increased the lead to 9-4, but AU fought back to within one at 11-10. Senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) pounded home her first kill of the night to make the score 12-10, then followed it up with another to run the count to 13-11. A Rivers kill and a net violation on Auburn forced the Tigers to call their first timeout of game three with Florida leading 17-13, but McCray and Bowers teamed up on a block immediately after the break to keep momentum on UF’s side. Sophomore Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) ripped an ace down the middle of the court to increase the edge to 21-13, and a kill by Rivers put the score at 23-14 before Auburn used its second timeout of the game. Fleming came out of the break firing from behind the service line, sending home back-to-back aces to make the score 25-14. Hampton put the finishing touches on a 30-17 game-three win with the Gators’ first solo block of the match. UF registered 3.0 total blocks in the game to hold Auburn to a .111 hitting efficiency, while picking up five aces in the service game en route to taking a 2-1 lead in the match.


The Gators used a block assist by Killingsworth and McCray to battle back from an early 3-0 deficit in game four, fighting to take their first lead at 6-5. Bowers’ 14th kill of the night made the score 10-6 in favor of the visitors, and Auburn battled back to within one before a Killingsworth kill and a McGinnis ace pushed UF’s lead to 14-10 and forced Auburn to ask for its first timeout of the game. Killingsworth slammed home two more kills and Rivers pitched in with a solo block to help Florida retain an 18-13 lead. The margin reached 22-16 when Bowers and McGinnis elevated for a block assist, prompting Auburn to use its final timeout of the frame. Bowers ripped off a kill and an ace on consecutive plays to push Florida’s lead to 25-17, and she and McCray double-teamed a block minutes later to force match point at 29-20. McCray clinched the win for Florida on the next rally with her ninth kill of the night. The Gators hit .359 in game four, while holding Auburn to a .077 clip.


UF will hit the court again on Sunday when they visit Georgia for a 2 p.m. ET showdown in Athens. Radio coverage of the action can be heard on WRUF-AM 850, as well as, and GatorVision Online subscribers can watch the match live via the Internet courtesy of the University of Georgia.


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