Friday September 3, 2010Volleyball Downs Albany, 3-0
The No. 6 Florida volleyball team hit .373 and used a balanced attack Friday afternoon to defeat Albany, 3-0 (25-8, 25-21, 25-14) in the Gators’ opening match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Junior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) led the way for the Gators offensively with nine kills on .350 hitting. Junior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson (Bakersfield, Calif.) followed with six kills on .444 hitting, while senior outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) chipped in six kills on .417 hitting. Rivers also tied her career high with four service aces in the match, a feat she has accomplished on two prior occasions.
The Gators (3-0) used their highest hitting percentage of the season (.373) and held the Great Danes to just an .072 offensive efficiency. It marked the first time Florida held an opponent below the .100 hitting percentage mark since limiting South Carolina to an .076 clip on Nov. 27, 2009.
Each of Florida’s 14 players who dressed for the match saw action in the contest and six players tallied four or more kills apiece.
“It’s great that we were able to play so many of our players in the match,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “We’re going to be looking to so many players coming off of the bench to make plays for us this season. It’s a good experience for them.”
The Gators won the blocking battle for the third consecutive match, out-blocking the Great Danes 7.5-3.0. Sophomore right-side Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) turned in five kills on .500 hitting with four blocks, while senior middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe (Long Beach, Calif.) also had four blocks.
Junior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) dished out a match-high 19 assists, while freshman setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) added 14 assists. Senior libero Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.) led the back-row effort with 16 digs.
Florida raced to a commanding 7-0 lead in the first set behind two Rivers kills and a pair of Albany attack errors. Down 8-1, the Great Danes ran off three straight points behind the serving of Laurie Gonzalez to bring the score to 8-4. Ahead, 14-6, the Gators fired off four points in a row, highlighted by a Jaeckel ace, widening the lead to 12 points at 18-6. Sophomore Sundai Weston (Naples, Fla.) executed a strong service run to cap off that scoring spree. From there, the Gators had no problem closing out the first set at 25-8 behind two of Rivers five kills on the set in the last five points.
Albany jumped out to an early 4-1 lead to begin the second set, but Florida rallied to knot the score at 5-5 after pair of Albany errors and a service ace from Weston. The two teams battled to two more ties until, at 11-11, the Gators broke out with four consecutive points to go ahead 15-11. The Great Danes responded with a pair of Teresa Coppielle kills. With Florida ahead 19-17 after a Murphy put-down, a Kaley Jacobson kill brought Albany within one, but the Gators answered with three points in a row, highlighted by a Bledsoe kill to widen the Florida advantage to four at 22-18. Up 22-20, Florida scored another four consecutive points to close out the set with a 25-21 victory on a Stephanie Ferrell (Los Angeles, Calif.) kill.
In the third set, the two teams battled evenly until the Gators used back-to-back Rivers service aces and two Albany ball handling errors to go on an eight-point run, bringing the score to 11-2. Rivers had seven service points and three aces during that span. The Gators kept rolling to a 16-6 lead behind kills from Murphy, Jaeckel and Rivers. After the Great Danes cut within nine at 17-8, the two teams traded points to close out the set, highlighted by a Ferrell ace, to win 25-14.
Albany (2-2) was led by six kills from Coppiellie and five from Gabby Whitworth.
Florida returns to action this evening when it plays host to Bowling Green at 7:30 p.m. ET in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The match will be carried live on ROCK 104 (103.7 FM in Gainesville) with Tom Collett and Missy Whittemore.
For all of the latest information on Florida volleyball, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/volleyball or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team’s Twitter account @GatorZoneVB or www.twitter.com/GatorZoneVB.
MATCH 1: NO. 15 COLORADO STATE 3, BOWLING GREEN 0
No. 15 Colorado State’s Jacque Davisson turned in a match-high 13 kills on .333 hitting with seven digs to lead the Rams over Bowling Green, 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20) on Friday morning at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Megan Plourde followed with eight kills on .375 hitting, while Audrey Hemmings recorded a match-high 13 digs for the Rams, who hit .295 on the match.
Bowling Green (1-3) was led by Paige Penrod’s 10 kills and five digs.