Wednesday September 1, 2004Collymore, Hampton Lead No. 4 Volleyball Past USF, 3-0
Led by 18 kills and 20.5 points from junior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) and 13 kills from freshman outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.), No. 4 Florida cruised past intrastate rival South Florida in three games (30-18, 30-18, 30-28) before a crowd of 2,023 on Wednesday evening at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
The Gators dominated the stats across the board as Florida finished with more kills (57-32), digs (45-29) and blocks (8-2), while out-hitting the bulls .345-.125. The victory at home was the 45th consecutive for the Gators and improved Florida's record against teams from the state to 62-2 under head coach Mary Wise.
The Gators presented a different look than years past as several freshmen made significant contributions, including setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) who finished with a match-high 34 assists. But the returning players more than held their own as senior middle blocker Sherri Williams (Orlando, Fla.) finished with two solo blocks and five block assists with junior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) matching her career high with 12 digs and senior Lauren Moscovic (Stockton, Calif.) finishing with a double-double with 15 assists and 10 digs.
"The freshmen were solid, but Iím really excited about the returning players in their new roles," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "The thing I love about this team is how unselfish they are."
The Gators got off to a good start in the first game, jumping out to a 6-2 advantage before eventually pulling ahead to an 18-11 lead on one of five attack errors by USF in the first game. Florida recorded four straight points to go on top 22-12 before eventually pulling away for the 30-18 game one win on a kill from senior Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.).
After the Gators and Bulls see-sawed back and forth early in game two and were tied at 5-5, Florida reeled off 20 of the next 27 points to take a commanding 25-12 lead. Collymore hammered home seven of her 18 kills during the stretch, while Hampton added four. The Gators ended the second game at 30-18 when McGinnis dumped a ball over the net after adding nine assists in the second stanza.
After being knocked down in the first two games, USF responded in the third by streaking out to an early 6-1 advantage before Florida used an 8-3 run to pull even with the Bulls at 9-9, highlighted by a pair of kills from Hampton. USF still battled and eventually led 21-18, before five different Gators tallied kills during a 9-5 run, which was capped by block assists from Williams and sophomore middle blocker Stefanie Douglas (Temple, Texas) as UF went on top 27-26. After USF tied the score at 27-27, Collymore notched kills on two of the next four points as the Gators won the game at 30-18.