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Friday September 26, 2008Volleyball's Murphy Notches Triple-Double in Sweep of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

Freshman Florida setter/right-side Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) became just the second player in school history to notch a triple-double, as she finished with a career-high 15 kills, 18 assists and a career-high 10 digs on .619 hitting Friday to lead the No. 10/10 Gators to a 3-0 (25-19- 25-17, 25-21) win against Arkansas in Barnhill Arena.

The Gators (9-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) had three players hit better than .500 in the match for the second time this season, as Florida hit .333 as a team, including an outstanding .517 clip in the opening set.

Murphy recorded just the fifth triple-double in school history and joins former All-America setter Angie McGinnis as the only two players in school history.

“The triple-doubles that Kelly is going to get are all interconnected,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “The kills she is going to get off of sets from Cindy or Elyse, the digs are going to come because she is set up in the right position and the assists come because of the hitters doing their jobs. It’s a triple-double for Kelly, but it is because of the great play of the entire team.”

Redshirt freshman outside hitter/right-side Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) notched the second double-double of her career with 14 kills on .333 hitting with 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Kristina Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with eight kills on .545 hitting, while sophomore right-side/middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe (Long Beach, Calif.) had five kills on .500 hitting. Bledsoe also finished with a team-high three blocks in the match.

“I thought the key to the win was how we began each set,” Wise said. “In the beginning of the first set, it was a side-out battle and Arkansas played very well. But we sided out at a very high efficiency. In the third set, with Arkansas’ backs against the wall, we did a good job of staying focused to finish out the win.”

Three Florida players finished with double-figure digs, as junior libero Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) led the defensive effort with 14 scoops, while Jaeckel and Murphy each finished with 10 digs. Freshman setter Cindy Bathelt (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tied her career high with 24 digs.

The two teams battled evenly to begin the opening set before the Gators, trailing 6-5, used a 3-0 run that started with a Colleen Ward (Naperville, Ill.) kill and was followed by back-to-back Arkansas attack errors that put UF ahead 8-6. The Razorbacks then used a 3-0 run of their own to go in front 9-8. A put-down by Murphy stopped Arkansas’ scoring streak and knotted the score at 9-all. Following two more ties, a kill by the Razorbacks’ Christina Lawrence and an attack error by Johnson allowed Arkansas to regain the lead at 13-11. With Florida trailing 13-12, Jaeckel and Johnson teamed for a block and then Jaeckel registered a kill on the outside on the next play to put the Gators back in front 14-13. Murphy and Johnson followed with back-to-back kills to extend Florida’s advantage to three, 16-13, heading into an Arkansas timeout.

Johnson posted two consecutive kills out of the break to extend UF’s run to 6-0 and give the Gators an 18-13 lead. Florida kept rolling to a 22-15 advantage heading into another Arkansas timeout. Out of the break, the Razorbacks scored four of the set’s next five points, including an ace by Kelli Stipanovich to cut within four, 23-19, and force Wise to burn a timeout of her own. Out of the timeout, Bledsoe registered a kill off the block on the outside to bring the Gators to match point before she teamed with senior Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) for a block on the right side to give Florida a 25-19 first-set win. The Gators hit an impressive .517 in the opening set, compared to Arkansas’ .138 hitting efficiency.

Arkansas opened up to a 5-2 advantage to begin the second set before a Jaeckel kill off the block on the outside sparked a 3-0 Florida run that knotted the score at 5-5. After another tie at 6-all, Murphy drilled a kill on the angle to put the Gators ahead 7-6. Following a tie at 7-7, the Razorbacks committed a service error and Ward followed with a high- flying kill to give the Gators a 9-7 lead. Arkansas then ran off two consecutive points to again tie the score, this time at 9-9. Murphy then recorded a kill from the back row and Ward followed with an ace to allow Florida to reclaim the advantage at 11-9. With the Gators ahead 11-10, UF used a 3-0 run that included a Jaeckel kill to extend its advantage to 15- 11.

After a kill by the Razorbacks’ Lawrence, Johnson and Murphy recorded back-to-back put-downs to go up 16-11 and force UA coach Robby Pulliza to burn a timeout. In front 16-12, Jaeckel drilled a kill on the right side and Arkansas had committed an attack error on the next play to put Florida up by six, 18-12. With Florida leading by five, 20-15, sophomore outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) and Jaeckel notched back- to-back kills to put the Gators ahead by seven, 22-15. Those kills were the start of a 4-1 run that was capped off by a Jaeckel kill and brought the Gators to set point at 24-16. A put-down by Bledsoe gave Florida a 25- 17 second-set win.

Florida raced to a 4-1 advantage to open the third set after a kill by Murphy off the block. Following an Arkansas kill, the Gators ran off back- to-back points capped off by a resounding block from Johnson and Murphy. Florida kept rolling to a 9-3 advantage that forced the Razorbacks to burn their last timeout of the set. Out of the break, Murphy registered a kill and Cusack followed with an ace to extend Florida’s lead to 11-3. With the Gators ahead 12-4 following a Bowers put-down, Arkansas ran off two consecutive points before a Murphy kill off hands stopped the Razorbacks’ scoring spree.

Arkansas began whittling its way back into the match, cutting to within five, 14-9, before Bowers recorded a kill on the right side. She then followed with an ace to put UF up 16-9. With Florida leading 16-10, Jaeckel notched the kill to spark a 3-0 Gator run that allowed them to take a 19-10 lead on a Johnson put-down. The Razorbacks responded with a 3-0 run of their own to cut within five, 19-14. Back-to-back kills by Murphy extended Florida’s lead to 21-14. She then teamed with Bowers for a resounding block on the right side to put the Gators ahead 22-14. With Florida leading 23-16, Bledsoe and Bowers posted a block on the right side to bring the Gators to match point at 24-16. Arkansas staved off six UF attempts at match point before a Jaeckel kill gave UF the 25-21 victory.

Arkansas (4-8, 1-1 SEC) was led by Stipanovich’s team-high 11 kills.

Florida returns to action on Sunday, when it travels to Oxford, Miss., to take on Ole Miss. Opening serve is set for 2:30 p.m. EDT in the Gillom Sports Center and the match will be carried live on ROCK 104 with Tom Collett and GatorVision Online.

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