Saturday September 4, 2010Florida Volleyball Battles to 3-1 Win Against Colorado State
The No. 6/4 Florida volleyball team used aggressive serving and hitting to overtake a big-blocking No. 15/13 Colorado State team in four sets, 25-22, 25-19, 25-27, 25-21, to capture the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Saturday.
Florida (5-0) recorded its third victory against a top-15 foe just five matches into the 2010 campaign.
Junior Kelly Murphy right-side/setter (Wilmington, Ill.) and senior middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe (Long Beach, Calif.) combined for nearly half of the Gators’ offensive output, recording 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Bledsoe was nearly unstoppable, hitting at a .533 clip while contributing five blocks, and was errorless through the first three sets.
Earning the first official start of her career, freshman setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) dished out 17 assists and eight digs, while fellow setter Murphy also contributed eight digs to go along with 24 assists.
Junior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson came up big for the Gators with eight kills and three blocks. Junior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) contributed seven kills, while senior outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) and sophomore right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) tallied six kills apiece for the Gators.
Senior libero Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.) was one of three Florida players with double-figure digs with 10, while also tying her career high with four service aces.
The Gators recorded 11.0 blocks in the match, marking the fourth time in five outings that they have reached double-figure totals in rejections.
Bledsoe, Murphy and Rivers each were named to the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational All-Tournament Team for their performances.
“I don't think either team really got into a good rhythm except when Colorado State got into a good sideout rhythm at the start of set three,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “The good news is on a night where our pin hitters were having a tough time getting a kill, and you have to credit Colorado State for that, we were still able to win. In volleyball, so often, it's about how good our left sides are and they were doing so many other things for us that it was hard for them to kill the ball. We won that match because of all the things they do for our team.”
In the first set, the Gators and Rams traded points for the first half, but back-to-back kills by Wiggs gave the Gators’ the lead for good. Fleming served three straight points for the longest run of the set at 17-14. Soon after, a solo block by Cassandra Anderson gave the Gators their largest lead of the set at four (19-15). The two teams traded points once again, but a driving kill by Rivers gave set one to the Gators, 25-22.
In set two, the teams once again traded points at the beginning with Anderson serving strong for the Gators. The Rams took their only lead of the set behind the serve of Katelyn Steffan. Senior libero Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.) answered by serving five straight points for the Gators, including two aces, to widen the gap to 23-18, the Gators’ largest lead of the match. Two timeouts in the run did not slow down Fleming, who tied the highest ace output of her career with four.
Florida struggled in the beginning of the third, with the Rams jumping out to a 4-0 lead and prompting the Gators to take a timeout. The solid attacking by Colorado State’s Steffan and Danielle Minch allowed the Rams to take a 6-13 lead with four straight kills.
The Gators fought back from a 20-11 deficit to tie things up at 23-23. While trading points, Jaeckel kept the Gators in it with two big kills through the seam in the block, keeping the Gators even with the Rams, 25-25. A block by Colorado State’s Megan Plourde and Evan Sanders along with a kill by Minch gave the Rams the edge, 27-25.
The teams traded points at the beginning of the fourth set, highlighted by two Anderson and Murphy stuffs and driving kills by Rivers and Murphy. The Gators took their largest lead of the set at 11-7 thanks to three straight errors by Colorado State, including two consecutive stuff blocks by Murphy and Bledsoe.
The Rams came storming back to get as close as 15-14, but a Rivers kill ended Colorado State’s run. Two Gator errors and another Davisson kill tied things up for the Rams, 18-18. The two teams traded points once again, but the Gators took the definitive lead off a Sanders service error, forcing the Rams to take a timeout. The break was not enough, however, and the Gators continued their momentum with a Bledsoe and Wiggs stuff block. Jaeckel ended the match with a service ace to give the Gators the win.
Colorado State (5-1) was led by Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Most Valuable Player Jacque Davisson, who recorded a match-high 19 kills.
Florida returns to the O’Connell Center next weekend to host the Nike Big Four Classic, beginning Friday. The tournament opens with Stanford vs. Texas at 5:30 p.m. The Gators host No. 1 Penn State at 7:30 p.m. The Florida match will be carried live on ROCK 104 (103.7 FM in Gainesville) with Cory Stephens. The match also will air tape delay on Sun Sports with Tom Collett and Missy Whittemore calling the action.
For all of the latest information on Florida Volleyball, log on to www.GatorZone.com/volleyball or, for up-to-the-minute information, follow the team’s Twitter account @GatorZoneVB or www.twitter.com/GatorZoneVB.
Albany 3, Bowling Green 0
In the final match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, Albany overtook Bowling Green in three sets, 25-21, 25-21, 27-25.
The Great Danes featured a balanced attack, led by the double-doubles of outside hitter Teresa Coppiellie (11 kills, 12 digs) and setter Kaley Jacobson (31 assists, 12 digs). Casey Wright led Albany at the net with 13 kills and nine blocks. All-Tournament libero Laurie Gonzalez contributed 12 digs for the match and a total of 31 on the weekend.
Bowling Green was led by All-Tournament selection Paige Penrod who had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Danielle Tonyan led the Falcons offensively with 12 kills. Libero Ashley Dunn had a double-double with 15 digs and 12 assists, while setter Laura Avila also had a double-double for the Falcons with 20 assists and 13 digs. Middle hitter Noelle Spitler contributed eight kills and two blocks.
Campus USA Credit Union Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP - Jacque Davisson, Colorado State
Kelly Murphy, Florida
Lauren Bledsoe, Florida
Callie Rivers, Florida
Paige Penrod, Bowling Green
Casey Wright, Albany
Megan Plourde, Colorado State
Florida Head Coach Mary Wise
“I don't think either team really got into a good rhythm except when Colorado State got into a good sideout rhythm at the start of set three. The good news is on a night where our pin hitters were having a tough time getting a kill, and you have to credit Colorado State for that, we were still able to win. In volleyball, so often, it's about how good our left sides are and they were doing so many other things for us that it was hard for them to kill the ball. We won that match because of all the things they do for our team.”
On losing the third set:
“I think what helped us in the fourth was the way we came back in the third. We were able to even it out after being weighed down and it was one of those days where the best example would be a basketball team that is just having a hard time making baskets. They're doing everything right, they've got the look, and it just doesn't fall. Having said that, you have to give Colorado State a lot of credit. Two years ago, Jacque Davisson played great and she was two years younger. She comes in here for 19 kills. She really had an All-Tournament type of performance.”
On aggressive serving:
“The turnaround in game four, after we called timeout, was aggressive serving. Again, the numbers you're looking are 1-to-1, aces to errors. We had exactly that, 7 aces to 7 errors.”
On long rallies:
“When things weren't in a good rhythm, at least the effort was terrific. We made some great scramble plays.”
#17 Lauren Bledsoe, Sr., MB
“I think our blocking has improved tremendously. Our new defense is working well and everyone knows their responsibilities. Everyone has a place to be and things to do and it works well when we're in sync. A lot of times, we're in sync and that's perfect.”
On crowd support:
“We love our fans because they give us great support. Especially as a senior, you learn to appreciate everyone coming out and spending time watching us and genuinely supporting us and caring about our team and our winning and losing.”
#12 Kelly Murphy, Jr., RS/S
On winning rallies:
“I think that a big theme for our team is working hard and we've been competing hard in practice and in games, that's really paying off. Especially with those scramble plays, we're coming back and winning those rallies.”
On aggressive serving:
“This year, we've started to serve more aggressively and that's been making things hard for our opponents. We've been able to block better because we have time to get two people on the block almost every attack. If we don't block it, we can at least get great touches and work in transition.”
On tough schedule:
“Our schedule is giving us some really good experience. Every team we play is great competition and we know we can't take a match off and it forces us to work hard and make an effort on every single rally.”