players registered double-digit kills Monday, led by redshirt freshman Kristy Jaeckel’s (Littleton, Colo.) team-high 11 and the No. 8/9 Gators
posted their 17th consecutive victory against in-state rival Florida State
in a 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 26-24) win in front of a packed house at Tully Gym in Tallahassee.
The Gators (5-0), who are in the midst of a three-match road swing, improve to
31-16 all-time vs. Florida
State and 59-2 under head
coach Mary Wise vs. in-state
opponents. Florida has not dropped a match to
an in-state opponent since the 1994 season and is 107-20 all-time vs. teams
from the Sunshine
Freshman right-side/setter Kelly Murphy
came one dig shy of a triple-double with 10 kills on .316 hitting, a
career-high 25 assists and nine digs, while sophomore outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.)
tallied 10 kills and seven digs. Four Gators registered two or more blocks in
the match. Freshman outside hitter Colleen
Ward (Naperville, Ill.) had one of her finest matches with
seven kills on .467 hitting with four digs.
Sophomore right-side/middle blocker Lauren
Bledsoe (Long Beach, Calif.)
finished with a season-high six kills and two blocks, while junior libero Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.)
headed the team’s defensive effort with 12 digs.
“We showed a toughness tonight that defined some of our best teams in the
past,” Wise said. “Florida
State is not an easy team
to defend against. They are very good at power tipping. It wasn’t the cleanest
of play by either team tonight, but it’s also pre-conference. Elyse Cusack was
outstanding tonight. We don’t win this one without Elyse.”
Florida State opened to a 5-3 advantage to begin
the first set, but back-to-back kills by Jaeckel and Murphy knotted the score
at 5-all. After another tie at 6-6, Jaeckel served an ace to give the Gators
the lead at 7-6. Following six more ties, Jaeckel and junior middle blocker
Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) teamed for a powerful block on the
outside before Jaeckel registered a kill on the next play to put Florida ahead
14-12 heading into an FSU timeout. The Gators extended their advantage to 19-15
after Rivers registered a put-down and followed with a block solo on the
ensuing play that forced FSU coach Chris Poole to burn his final timeout of the
Consecutive kills by Murphy and Jaeckel put Florida ahead 22-16, but the Seminoles
followed with blocks on two consecutive plays that brought them within three,
22-19, heading into a Gator timeout. Out of the break, a Bowers attack hit the
antenna to bring the Noles as close as two, 22-20. That would be as close as
FSU would come, as Jaeckel recorded kills on two of the set’s final three plays
to help the Gators to a 25-22 first-set victory. The Gators hit .265 in the
opening set, out-hitting FSU .265-.143.
The Seminoles scored the first two points of the second set before back-to-back
Jaeckel kills sparked a 4-0 run that was capped off by a resounding put-down by
Bledsoe on the right side. Florida
State worked its way back
into the set, knotting the score at 6-6. Murphy drilled a kill down the middle
on the next play and Johnson and Rivers followed with a block to put the Gators
in front 8-6. The Seminoles then used a 2-0 run to tie the score at 8-all, but
Florida responded with three consecutive points, highlighted by a Murphy kill
on the right side, to go up 11-8.
With the Gators ahead 12-9, FSU scored two consecutive points to cut within
one, 12-11, before Rivers recorded a sharp kill on the angle to stop the
Seminoles’ scoring spree. Trailing 14-12, Florida State
used a block by Stephanie Neville and Jordana Price and a kill by Lauren Richardson
to knot the set at 14-14. The Noles went in front 16-15, but Florida tied the score on a put-down by
Jaeckel off hands. Following three more ties, Bledsoe sent a kill down the
middle to put the Gators up 20-19. After two ties, the Seminoles reclaimed the
edge at 22-21 on an attack error by Jaeckel. With Florida down 24-22 and facing set point,
Johnson registered a kill and FSU’s Rachael Morgan followed with an attack
error to knot the score at 24-all. Out of a Florida State
timeout, a setting error by the Seminoles and a kill by Murphy gave UF a 26-24
win in the second set.
The two teams battled evenly to begin the third set before Ward notched a kill
to spark a 2-0 run for the Gators that put them ahead 6-4. The Seminoles
rallied to tie the score at 6-all and went in front 7-6 on a put-down by Price.
An attack error by Ward and back-to-back FSU blocks gave the Noles a 10-7
advantage and forced Wise to burn a timeout. With Florida trailing by three, 11-7, the Gators
went on a 3-0 run to cut within one, 11-10. After the two teams traded points,
UF was able to knot the score at 13-all, before back-to-back attack errors by
the Noles put the Gators up 15-13. Florida
State ran off two consecutive points
to tie the score at 15-15, but Florida
used a 3-0 run to go up 18-15 heading into a timeout by the Seminoles.
Consecutive attack errors by the Gators brought FSU as close as one, 18-17,
before Ward posted a kill on the outside to give Florida a 19-17 advantage. A Rivers put-down
on the outside put UF ahead 21-19, but the Noles re-grouped to knot the score
at 22-all. A Rivers attack was blocked on the outside on the ensuing play
putting FSU in front 23-22 and forcing Wise to use a timeout. With the score
knotted at 24-all, Jaeckel drilled a kill down the middle and Ward registered a
put-down off the block to give UF the 26-24 victory.
Florida returns to action on Thursday when it
faces Colorado in Boulder, Colo.
Opening serve is set for 8:30 p.m. EDT and the match will be carried live on
Sun Sports and WRUF-AM 850.
A reminder to tune into Gator Hotline with Mary Wise on Tuesday night from 7-8
p.m. (please note the time change) at Beef O’Brady’s in Alachua. Fans are
invited to come out and ask questions in person or call into the show with
their questions for Wise. Tom Collett, the voice of Florida volleyball, hosts the hour-long
For all of the latest information on Florida Volleyball, please log on to www.GatorZone.com.
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