Senior Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded
a match-high 19 kills and broke the school record for career attacks on Friday
night to lead the No. 7 University of Florida volleyball team to a sweep Alabama (30-21, 30-25, 30-28) at the Stephen
C. O’Connell Center.
With the victory, UF (25-1, 18-1 Southeastern Conference) extended the
nation’s longest streak of 25-win seasons to 17 years.
“Every win is special, especially in the SEC, and we really had to
earn this one tonight,” Florida
head coach Mary Wise said. “The
numbers that Marcie Hampton is putting up are unbelievable – All-America-type
numbers. When we’re in a tough match like this one, we expect our seniors to
step up and they certainly did that tonight.”
Hampton recorded 43 attacks on the night, hitting .302 in
the process, to finish the night with 4,102 for her career and pass former
Florida All-American Aury Cruz’s UF mark of 4,096.
She led a trio of Gators with double-figure kill totals, as freshman outside
hitter Callie Rivers (Winter
Park, Fla.) had 11 in the win
and senior middle blocker Kisya
Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) chipped in with 10. Senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.)
dished out 48 assists on the night and set the Gators to a .318 team hitting
“It’s such a weird record because all I had to do was get set, but
it’s still cool to have my name on top of the list,” Hampton said. “It’s really a credit to our
team defense that we have had that many attack opportunities.”
Rivers and Hampton recorded 15 and 10 digs, respectively on Friday
night to qualify for double-doubles, marking the third-straight for Hampton. Rivers’ total
against the Crimson Tide was a career high, and the effort represented her
second double-double against UA in as many career matches. Sophomore
libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack
(Melrose, Fla.) added 15 digs of her own to tie Rivers for team-high honors
and pull within two of becoming only the second player in SEC history to record
1,000 before the end of her sophomore year.
UF has now won 26-straight regular-season SEC matches on its home
court, and will head into Sunday’s match with Mississippi State
looking for a win to finish the campaign with an undefeated regular-season
record at the O’Connell Center for third year in a row.
Three different Gators recorded kills in the early stages of game one,
led by a pair from Hampton,
to help UF keep pace in a tightly-contested opener. Two kills by Rivers and a
block solo by Killingsworth enabled Florida to
open up a 10-7 lead, and a Hampton ace sent Alabama into its first timeout with the Orange and Blue up by a count of 11-7. Junior
middle blocker Kelsey Bowers
(Gainesville, Fla.) helped increase UF’s advantage to 17-10 with a kill and
a solo block, but the Crimson Tide were able to fight back to within four
points at 19-15. The Gators, however, responded with four-straight points,
highlighted by kills from Hampton and Rivers, to roar back out to a 23-15 edge.
Hampton, Killingsworth and McGinnis each recorded kills down the stretch as Alabama couldn’t draw
closer than six and UF took the opener, 30-21. Rivers had six kills in the
first frame to lead a Florida
attack that hit .400, while the Gators also chalked up 4.0 blocks to limit the
Crimson Tide to a .191 clip.
Rivers, Bowers and Killingsworth each recorded kills to spark UF to a 6-3
lead in game two, and Hampton’s second ace of the night made the score 10-5
before UA asked for its first timeout of the game. The Gators’ doubled up on
Alabama at 14-7 when Bowers killed an overpass off of a UF serve, and Hampton’s
seventh kill of the night brought Florida to the 20-point mark with an
eight-point lead before an Alabama ball-handling error forced the Tide to use
their final timeout of game two with the Orange and Blue holding a 21-12 lead.
UA battled back to within three, 26-23, late in the game, but Hampton came up
with a pair of kills in crunch time and senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) ripped
her sixth kill of the night to put the finishing touches on a 30-25 UF win in
the second frame. Hampton
led the Gators with seven kills in the game, while Rivers and Cusack piled up a
team-high six digs apiece.
UF fought back from a 3-1 hole early in game three, taking its first
lead at 5-4 on a service ace by Rivers. The Gators ran their lead to 7-4 before
the Tide rebounded to tie the score at 7-7. Hampton notched a kill and her
third ace of the night to get UF back out in front by a 9-7 score, but the flow
of play continued to be tight through the midway part of the game. After UA
knotted the score at 12-12, Rivers recorded a kill and Hampton
delivered a pair of her own to make the score 16-13 in Florida’s favor before the Tide called for
timeout. UF took three of the first four points after the break to grab a 19-14
lead, and a Killingsworth kill combined with a series of UA miscues to increase
the margin to 23-18 before the Tide burned their final timeout. Alabama came
storming back to tie the match at 28-28, but McCray came through with her
eighth kill of the night after a UA service error to seal the game and the
match for the Gators with a 30-28 victory.
Florida will wrap up its regular-season home schedule and celebrate Senior
Day on Sunday when it squares off with Mississippi State
at 1:30 p.m. ET. UF’s four seniors will be honored following the conclusion of
the match. Radio coverage of the action can be found on WRUF-AM 850, as well as
www.GatorZone.com, and GatorVision
Online subscribers can view the contest live via the Internet.
- UF –