Saturday August 29, 2009Gators Sweep Through Campus USA Credit Union Invitational; Down Colorado
VIDEO: Post-Match Player Interviews
Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Most Valuable Player Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) recorded a match-high 15 kills on .684 hitting with 18 assists and seven digs Saturday to pilot the No. 8/9 Florida volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-15) victory against Big XII Conference foe Colorado in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The Gators open their season 2-0 for the sixth consecutive year and improve to 16-0 all-time in the history of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational.
Florida hit .411 in the match and demonstrated a strong defensive effort, out-digging the Buffaloes (1-1) 42-19. Colorado made a number of adjustments during the course of the match, but the Gators were able to respond to post the 3-0 sweep.
“Colorado made a lot of changes in the match offensively,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “They made a lot of adjustments – they changed their offense, switched from a 6-2 to a 5-1 and our players were able to make the necessary adjustments on the court without having to call a timeout. Our players just never lost a beat tonight.”
Murphy was one of three Gators to tally double-figure kills in the match. Fellow All-Tournament Team members Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) and Colleen Ward (Naperville, Ill.) also reached double-digits in kills.
Murphy finished the weekend with 27 kills (4.50 k/s) on .452 hitting with 34 assists for a team-high 31 points in the two matches combined. Murphy had two service aces in Saturday night’s match.
“I thought that we played with a lot of energy tonight,” Murphy said. “Last night, we had a little bit of nerves, but tonight we played with a lot more consistency.”
Ward charted her first collegiate double-double with 12 kills on .455 hitting and a career-high 11 digs, while Jaeckel registered 10 kills and six digs. Sophomore right-side/middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe (Long Beach, Calif.) added six kills on .625 hitting.
Senior libero Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) tied Ward with a match-high 11 digs. Cusack also dished out eight assists in the secondary-setter role, while junior setter Brynja Rodgers (Iowa City, Iowa) had a match-high 19 assists.
Colorado took an early 7-4 advantage to begin the opening set before back-to-back kills by Murphy and Jaeckel brought the Gators to within one, 7-6. A put-down by Bledsoe knotted the score at 8-8 and, after another tie, Anderson served an ace to spark a 3-0 scoring run by Florida that put it ahead 12-9 heading into a Colorado timeout.
With Florida leading 14-12, the Buffaloes committed a service error and then Murphy notched two consecutive kills to extend the Gators’ advantage to five, 17-12. Florida kept rolling to a 24-20 lead after a Murphy kill before a put-down by Ward closed out the 25-20 first-set victory.
The two teams battled evenly to begin the second set before Florida took an 8-5 advantage on a kill by Bledsoe. Back-to-back put-downs by Jaeckel and Murphy moved the Gators in front by five, 13-8. Colorado rallied with a 6-1 run to force a 14-all tie. A CU service error and a Murphy ace put Florida back in front at 16-14 and the Gators rolled to a 21-18 advantage leading into a Colorado timeout. Florida closed out a 25-22 win in the second set.
Florida broke an early gridlock in the third set when Ward recorded a kill and followed with a service ace to put the Gators in front 9-6. UF kept adding to its lead and used back-to-back put-downs by Ward to go up 15-9 heading into a media timeout. Before the next timeout, Murphy had two kills and the Buffs committed an attack error to extend Florida’s advantage to 18-11. The Gators closed out the 25-15 third-set victory with three consecutive kills, the last by Murphy off of a Rodgers set.
Colorado (1-1) was led by Becca Fogle’s team-high 10 kills and three digs. All-Tournament Team member Kaitlyn Burkett had five kills on .714 hitting with 11 assists and three digs.
The Gators improve to 4-0 all-time vs. Colorado and 36-14 all-time against members in the current alignment of the Big XII Conference.
Florida returns to action on Monday when it plays host to intra-state rival Florida State. The Gators will be looking for their 18th consecutive win against the Seminoles. Opening serve in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center is slated for 7 p.m. ET and the match will be carried live on Sun Sports with Larry Vettel and Missy Whittemore and WRUF-AM 850 with Tom Collett.
For all of the latest information on Florida Volleyball, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/volleyball. Follow the Gators on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GatorZoneVB and Coach Mary Wise on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GatorMary.
The University of Florida is home to the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Regional. For ticket information, log on to www.GatorZone.com/tickets.
CAMPUS USA CREDIT UNION INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MVP: Kelly Murphy, Florida
Kristy Jaeckel, Florida
Colleen Ward, Florida
Kaitlyn Burkett, Colorado
Erin Greenwood, UNLV
Taylor Root, Valparaiso
Florida Head Coach Mary Wise
“Colorado made a lot of changes in the match offensively. They made a lot of adjustments – they changed their offense, switched from a 6-2 to a 5-1 and our players were able to make the necessary adjustments on the court without having to call a timeout. Our players just never lost a beat tonight.”
On what she liked from her team during the weekend …
“We are excited about our aggressive serving. Each time a player goes back, we have a chance to run points. By the end of the season, we will have six players that can go back and make a serving run. If you can score off your serve, you will give teams fits.”
On Florida’s team chemistry …
“We talk a lot about chemistry and really what that means is players accepting their roles and understanding the process. We all want results now. We want to be great right now. It’s a process. We know we’re better than we were and know we have to be significantly better to play the best Florida State team we’ve played in years.”
#12 Kelly Murphy, SO, RS/S
On Saturday’s 3-0 victory against Colorado …
“I thought that we had a lot of energy tonight. Last night we played with a little bit of nerves, but tonight we were able to control ourselves better. Tonight, we played with a lot more consistency.”
On the performance of All-Tournament Team member Colleen Ward …
“Colleen really stepped it up - she was our ‘go-to’ in this match. She really turned it on tonight and had a lot of success hitting it.”
#7 Elyse Cusack, SR, L
On the team’s 3-0 win against Colorado …
“Tonight was a lot of fun. We were really clicking, everyone was hitting well and as a team we were really playing well. This was a good weekend for us; a good run into the regular season. We feel a little more confident now and we look forward to our match against Florida State on Monday.”
On the team’s 42-19 advantage in digs …
“This summer and training camp we talked a lot about defense. If we don’t let the ball hit the floor then they can’t score. We worked really hard in practice on digging. With Kristy [Jaeckel], Colleen [Ward] and Murph [Kelly Murphy], we get plenty of practice. We practiced as hard as we could and it has paid off.”
#6 Kristy Jaeckel, SO, OH
On winning the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational …
“I think this weekend’s matches put us in the right direction and bring our confidence up. Right now, we feel we have a good thing with our team chemistry. That said, even with a good thing going we can’t overlook the team in front of us.”
On Florida’s 3-0 win against Colorado on Saturday …
“I really feel that it was a real good team effort tonight. Kelly Murphy went out there and played her game and when she plays her game she is an unstoppable player. Colleen (Ward) had some really good plays both offensively and defensively. Elyse (Cusack) is always consistent back there.”
On Monday’s match-up with Florida State …
“I think Florida State being an instate rivalry brings a lot of energy and hype with the match. We just need to stay calm and play our game.”
END OF REPORT