Friday November 18, 2011No. 17 Gators Stun Georgia, 3-0, Behind Jaeckel's 19 Points
The No. 17 Florida volleyball team had its best offensive performance of the season, hitting .519 in a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-14) sweep of SEC foe Georgia on Friday evening. With the victory, the Gators move to 22-5 on the season and 15-3 in conference play. The Gators’ .519 hitting clip is the most in a 3-set match since Florida’s sweep of South Carolina State in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, when the Gators hit at a .586 clip.
Florida was led by senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.), who hit .480 with 14 kills, three service aces, three digs and three blocks for a total of 19.0 points, the highest for a Gator in a 3-set match since Callie Rivers turned in 19.5 in a 3-0 sweep of College of Charleston in the NCAA Tournament on November 29th, 2007.
Sophomore middle blocker and reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) turned in an errorless performance with nine kills on 11 swings for an .818 hitting efficiency, posting two blocks for a total of 10.0 points.
Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) hit .400 with 21 assists on the evening, registering a .568 setting percentage, pinpointing the accuracy of Murphy’s sets. Sophomore setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) added 16 assists on the evening, as the duo directed the Gators to just their fourth .500+ performance in the last five years.
“Obviously people look at the offense, but they (Kelly and Kristy) do so much more for us,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “I thought Kelly’s setting choices and deliveries were outstanding. Kelly was extra special tonight. It’s almost like there are not enough sets to go around when we go on those service runs. Kristy was in the zone with 19 points in three sets; that’s pretty good. And, obviously, Chloe continues that hot streak. It’s pretty amazing.”
In the Orange and Blue’s most efficient hitting performance of the season, it was the Gators’ passing game that put them in position to run their offense. Redshirt freshman libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) had one of her most consistent serve receive outings of the season to go along with a match-high 12 digs, as Florida registered an 84 percent sideout percentage on the evening. Junior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) turned in seven kills on .583 hitting with two blocks, registering her sixth .500+ performance of the season.
A unit more known for their defense at the net, the Gator middle blockers were errorless on the evening, hitting .810 courtesy of Mann, junior middle blocker Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) with six kills on eight swings (.750) and senior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson (Bakersfield, Calif.), who came off the bench to hit 1.000 (2-0-2).
Florida jumped out in the first set, taking an 8-3 lead and forcing a Georgia timeout after kills by Jaeckel and Mann spurred a 6-1 Gator run. Out of the timeout, the Gators continued to roll, using a 4-0 serving run from freshman defensive specialist Holly Pole (Ocala, Fla.) to surge ahead, 15-7. Wiggs registered back-to-back kills as Florida continued to push the lead, 17-10. Unroe aced the Bulldogs to pull ahead, 22-12. A Smith kill gave the first set to the Gators, 25-14.
“I thought we did a really good job coming out strong,” Jaeckel said. “Sometimes we have a slower start, but we did a really good job just coming out and executing on our side and slowing down what they wanted to do. I think that’s really where we got our momentum from.”
The Gators carried that momentum into the second set, as Jaeckel notched three straight kills to put Florida ahead, 3-2. Jaeckel continued her hot streak, registering three straight points (kill, block assist, kill) to give the Gators a 7-2 advantage. Murphy began to come alive in the second set, slamming a kill on the left side before teaming up with Mann for a stuff block to force a Georgia timeout at 9-3. Jaeckel continued to utilize her top spin jumper, scoring three consecutive points courtesy of back-to-back service aces. Jaeckel’s sixth kill of the set put Florida ahead, 18-8, and a Georgia hitting error forced the Bulldogs into their second timeout of the set. The teams would side out to end the set, as Anderson slammed the final ball of the set to give Florida a 2-0 advantage heading into intermission, 25-15.
“Especially after the break, you go in and you lose a little bit of focus, but that’s something that we focused on and we wanted to establish being dominant from the beginning,” Wiggs said. “We had great defensive plays. It’s always exciting because defense is something that gives us energy and motivates us. It was really exciting to finally see everything come together.”
Out of the break, the teams battled for the lead, but after back-to-back kills from Mann at 5-4, the Gators never looked back. Florida utilized serving runs from Jaeckel, Murphy and Pole to extend the Florida lead. Pole’s 4-0 run, bookended by Jaeckel kills, put Florida ahead, 16-7. It was another Jaeckel kill through the seam of the Bulldog block that caused Georgia to call their final timeout of the match with the Gator lead up to 19-9. Murphy finished the match behind the service line and put away the final kill of the match to give the Gators the 25-14 set win and the 3-0 match victory.
Florida held its eighth opponent to less than .100 hitting efficiency, as Georgia hit just .054, the lowest for a Gator opponent since Florida swept LSU in the O’Dome on October 9th, 2011.
The Gators now focus on Sunday, as Florida hosts Auburn on Senior Day. Florida’s five seniors will be honored prior to the match, which will air live on Sun Sports with Larry Vettel and former Gator All-SEC setter Missy Whittemore on the call. Gator fans can also listen in to Sportsradio 850 with Tom Collett and Cory Stephens calling the action. First serve between the Gators and the Tigers is set for 1:30 p.m.
Match Stat Leaders
- Kills: Kristy Jaeckel (14)
- Attacks: Kristy Jaeckel (25)
- Hitting Percentage: Chloe Mann (.818)
- Assists: Kelly Murphy (21)
- Digs: Taylor Unroe (12)
- Block Solo: Tangerine Wiggs/Kristy Jaeckel (1)
- Block Assists: Jaeckel/Mann/Betsy Smith (2)
- Total Blocks: Kristy Jaeckel (3)
- The Gators hit a season-high .519 in the match while holding the Bulldogs to just .054
- In addition to it being Florida’s best offensive performance of the season, the .465 margin is the largest efficiency discrepancy since the Gators’ victory over South Carolina State in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, when UF out-hit the Bulldogs .586 to -.042 (+.628).
- The Gators’ 3-0 victory tonight was UF’s 18th of the season.
- Florida is 18-0 in 3-set matches in 2011.
- Chloe Mann earned her first assist of the season, just the second of her career, in tonight’s match.
- Holly Pole recorded her first-ever multi-assist match, earning two on the night
Gators in the Record Books
- Kristy Jaeckel’s match-high 14 kills moves her into a tie for eighth all-time at UF with 1,248 career kills.
- Jaeckel’s three service aces push her past Lauren Moscovic ’04 into 14th all-time with 112 career aces.
- Kristy Jaeckel earned her 3,200th attack in tonight’s match, increasing her career total to 3,213 all time. She is just the seventh player in Gator history to reach this milestone.
- Kelly Murphy became the 17th player in Florida history to record 900 digs, notching five in the match for a total of 904 in her career.
- Kelly Murphy and Kristy Jaeckel both passed Kisya Killingsworth ’07 in career points this evening to move into ninth and 10th place and with 1,487.0 and 1,485.5 points, respectively.
- The Gators are now 810-174 (.823) all-time
- Mary Wise is 735-137 (.843) in her career and 654-74 (.898) at Florida
- The Orange and Blue are 347-37 (.904) in SEC play, including 321-15 (.955) under Coach Wise
- The Gators are now 53-9 all-time against the Bulldogs and 50-1 under Coach Wise
- UF is 396-56 (.876) at home, 337-21 (.941) with Coach Wise on the sideline
- Florida is 646-72 (.900) while ranked and 704-90 (.887) vs. unranked opponents