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Sunday October 21, 2007Hampton and Cusack Spark No. 10 VB To Sweep Of Georgia

Athens, GA

Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded 20 kills and sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) piled up 21 digs to lead the No. 10 University of Florida volleyball team to a 3-0 (30-19, 30-23, 30-17) win over Georgia on Sunday afternoon.

 

The effort was Hampton’s third 20-kill effort of the season and the eighth of her career. Her 20 kills on Sunday matched her season high, and came on .359 hitting. Cusack’s performance against UGA marked her eighth 20-dig outing of the campaign, as well as the 15th of her career. She has now posted a double-figure dig total in 23-consecutive matches, the second-longest streak in school history.

 

“We played one of our best all-around matches of the season today,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “We put forth a great effort on both the offensive and defensive ends. I was happy with the way we played each game to end, not letting up and closing points out when we had the opportunities.”

 

UF hit .327 as a team on Sunday, led by a .500 clip from junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.), who posted nine kills on the afternoon. Senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) guided the Gators to that mark with 40 assists, averaging better than 13.00 per game.

 

Florida also won the digs battle, 54-36, and blocked the Bulldogs 11.5 times en route to holding UGA to a .067 hitting percentage for the match. Bowers shared match-high honors with six blocks, while freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.), McGinnis and senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) each chipped in with four. McGinnis also contributed nine digs to finish just one shy of her fourth double-double of the year.

 

A pair of kills by Bowers and an ace by Cusack sprung Florida to a 4-1 lead in the opening game. After UGA cut the lead to one at 6-5, the Gators reeled off three-straight points, highlighted by a double block from Killingsworth and Rivers, to extend the margin back to 9-5. UF’s run continued, reaching 6-2 on a Rivers kill that made the score 12-7. The hosts fought back to within three, 12-9, but McGinnis came up with her first kill of the afternoon, then teamed up with Bowers for a block assist to help keep the Gators in front. A Bowers kill forced Georgia to call timeout with the score at 15-9, but Florida took two of the first three points out of the break to increase its lead to 17-10. UF’s lead grew to seven at the 20-point mark as Rivers fired a kill down the left line, and swelled to nine, 23-14, on a another kill by Bowers before the Bulldogs asked for their final timeout of the first stanza. The Gators again took two of the first three points after the stoppage, and found themselves up by as many as 12 points before Hampton closed out the 30-19 game-one win with a kill off of the UGA block. Florida hit .429 in the frame, led by a half-dozen kills from Hampton, while limiting Georgia to a .135 clip by piling up 5.0 total blocks and 15 digs.

 

Florida faced a 5-2 deficit early in the second game, but a 3-0 run that featured a block assist by Killingsworth and Hampton enabled them to battle back and take a 6-5 lead. A double block by Bowers and Rivers tied the score at 9-9 in a see-saw second frame, and the duo was at it again three rallies later to give UF an 11-10 edge. Killingsworth pounded home a kill to get UF to the midway point with a 15-14 lead, and kills by senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) and Rivers pushed the advantage to 17-14. The Gators’ lead grew to 21-16 before UGA called its first timeout of the game, and Killingsworth prompted the Bulldogs to use their second stoppage minutes later with a kill that ran the count to 25-19. A Hampton kill forced game point at 29-21, and Rivers sealed the game three rallies later when she skipped a kill of off the UGA block. Hampton again fired six kills in the game, while Cusack added eight digs to run her total to 14 through two games.

 

Bowers and Hampton recorded back-to-back kills early in game three, helping UF knot the score at 3-3 after the first six points. Florida took its first lead of the game at 7-6 on a block assist by Killingsworth and McCray, and McCray squeezed a kill through two UGA blockers to force the Bulldogs to call their first timeout of the game with the tally at 11-7. Consecutive kills by Hampton ran the score to 17-9, and she sent UF to the 20-point mark with an eight-point lead with a tip down the left line. The edge reached double-figures at 22-12 on a block assist by McCray and Killingsworth, prompting UGA to burn its final timeout of the frame. Florida’s lead didn’t dip below 10 points for the remainder of the match, and Bowers put the finishing touches on the win with her ninth kill of the afternoon. Hampton collected eight kills in the frame, while Cusack helped limit UGA to -.071 hitting with seven digs.

 

The Gators will next take the court on Friday night when they take on No. 25 LSU at 7 p.m. in the SEC Match of the Week. The action will be televised live on FSN Florida, and radio coverage can be found on WRUF-AM 850, as well as www.GatorZone.com.  

 

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