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Saturday September 8, 2012No. 15 Gators Take Four-Set Victory over Ragin' Cajuns, 3-1

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 15 University of Florida volleyball team (5-2, 0-0 SEC) pulled out a four-set victory over Louisianaís Raginí Cajuns, 3-1 (25-15, 25-14, 23-25, 25-12), on Saturday afternoon to earn their second win of the Active Ankle Challenge.

 

Florida freshman éiva Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) led the way once again for the Gators, tallying her first career double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs against Louisiana, while senior Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) and junior Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) each put up 10 kills. Wiggs and Mannís numbers were impressive, as Wiggs hit an errorless .667 and Mann only played in sets one and four, hitting .533.

 

The Gators held the Raginí Cajuns to a .150 hitting percentage, as the Orange and Blue put up 50 digs, including double-digit digs by Recek and sophomore libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.), who scooped a match-high 15. Junior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) dished out 36 assists on the afternoon, adding two service aces and a match-high three blocks against UL. Senior Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) had a solid afternoon, registering seven kills, two blocks and a season-high-tying three digs against Louisiana.

 

The teams traded points to open the set before Recek served six straight points to put the Gators ahead, 9-3. A Recek-Mann stuff block extended the Florida lead to 14-6 and an Unroe ace continued the surge, 16-7. Florida took its largest lead of the set off a smart swing to the back left corner by Mann, 21-10. The Gators kept the Raginí Cajuns at bay with quick sets to Mann and Mallette and Florida took the first set off a tip to the middle by Mann, 25-15.

 

Redshirt freshman Simone Antwi (Fairfax Station, Va.) got things started for the Gators in set two, serving five consecutive points for the Orange and Blue to put Florida ahead, 8-2. A Brauneis-Smith stuff block continued the Gatorsí lead, 11-3. Brauneis then put up a dumped kill and an ensuing service ace to go ahead at the halfway mark, 15-6. Florida continued to roll, going up 19-10 on a Monserez service ace to force a Raginí Cajun timeout. A Brauneis stuff block at 22-12 put the Gators up by double digits and a Pole service ace ended the set in the Gatorsí favor, 25-14.

 

The teams traded serve to open the third set with Louisiana taking its first lead of the match at 8-7, but a quick dumped kill by Backlund tied the set at 8 apiece. The Raginí Cajuns continued to fight, taking the lead once again 10-9. The Gators took the lead back off a kill by Recek at 12-11 but a Florida hitting error gave the edge back to UL with UF down 14-15. A Raginí Cajun hitting error gave Florida the two-point advantage and forced a Louisiana timeout, 17-15. Antwi used three kills to squash the UL surge, 21-19, but the Raginí Cajuns werenít going to go quietly and used a stuff block to tie the set at 22, forcing a Florida timeout. Louisiana set up set point at 24-23 off a kill by Andrea Hole. A Tonice White kill gave the set to the Raginí Cajuns, 25-23.

 

A Mann-Wiggs roof started the set off strong for the Orange and Blue, and a Wiggs slam inside the UL block put Florida ahead, 6-3. Smith nailed a kill off the slide to put the Gators up, 7-4, and back-to-back Recek kills extended the UF lead, 11-5. Louisiana called timeout after a bullet of a kill by Mallette and a Recek kill down the pipe gave the Gators a 14-5 edge. A cut swing inside the block for Mallette extended the Gator advantage, 19-8, and a Mann overpass kill got the Gators to the double-decade mark, 20-8. A quick set from Brauneis to Mann set up match point for Florida at 24-10 and a Mann kill ended the match, 25-12.

 

The Active Ankle Challenge finishes up Saturday evening, as Louisiana plays Jacksonville at 5:30 p.m. and Florida faces Georgia Tech at 7:30 p.m. The Gatorsí match airs live on GatorVision and can be heard on GatorZone.com.

 

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 Florida volleyball on Twitter at @GatorZoneVB or www.twitter.com/GatorZoneVB and Coach Mary Wise on Twitter at @GatorMary or www.twitter.com/GatorMary. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.

 

POST-MATCH NOTES

         Today's match marked the first meeting between the Gators and Ragin' Cajuns.

         Junior Taylor Brauneis recorded a season-high four kills against Louisiana.

         Freshman éiva Recek set a career best with 13 digs.

         Recek also led the team in kills (13) for the fourth match in-a-row. She has had at least 13 kills in each of the past four matches and has tallied double-figure kills in six straight matches (four of those in 3 setters)

         With today's victory, UF has won 13 consecutive regular season matches at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

         For the second time in 2012, senior Tangerine Wiggs was in double figure kills (10).

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