Sunday October 3, 2004No. 5 VB Defeats Alabama 3-0 To Win 110th Straight SEC Match
Junior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) finished with a match-high 13 kills, while senior middle blocker Sherri Williams (Orlando, Fla.) finished with 11 kills and four blocks as No. 5 Florida won its 110th consecutive Southeastern Conference match as the Gators defeated Alabama 3-0 (30-20, 30-22, 30-19) before a crowd of 2,233 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Florida (12-2 overall, 4-0 SEC) held Alabama (12-3, 2-2) to .029 hitting, while the Gators hit .337 for the match. Florida also finished with more kills (49-28), digs (41-28) and blocks (9.0-7.0) than the Crimson Tide as the Gators extended their NCAA record streak of consecutive regular season conference matches to 134. The win was also the 599th in Florida program history and the 104th straight victory in home conference matches.
"It's important for our team's growth that we get kills from different positions, including our setter," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "Spreading the ball around is much harder for other teams to defend and we used that to our advantage today."
Five different Gators recorded at least five kills during the match with senior middle blocker Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.) adding nine, freshman outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) finishing with six and freshman Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) posting five. Junior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) hit double figures in digs for the 10th time this season and finished with a match-high 14 digs. Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) also had a fine afternoon with 38 assists, four digs and four kills.
Fueled by an 11-0 run, the Gators took control early in the first game before claiming the win 30-20. With Alabama ahead 6-5, Florida scored 11 straight points behind the strong serving of McGinnis and a pair of kills from Chatman. From there, Alabama came as close as nine points the rest of the way before Florida put the game away on a kill from Hampton. Williams led the Gators with five kills in the game.
The second game proved tighter than the first, but a late 7-1 run helped the Gators to a 30-22 win. Florida started strong in building an 8-3 lead before the Crimson Tide rebounded to take a 10-9 lead. The two teams traded the lead before Alabama pulled even at 13-13. Florida then built a 17-14 advantage and later led 21-18. The Gators then scored seven of the next eight points to take control of the game at 28-19 before clinching the game at 30-22. Collymore paced the Gators with six kills, while Engel added six digs.
The Gators rolled again early in the third game as Florida raced out to a 9-2 lead as Alabama errors accounted for four of the points. Florida pushed its lead to eight at 14-6 on a kill by Collymore and later 10 at 18-8 on a kill by Williams. Alabama came as close as eight at 25-17 before the Gators closed out the match by scoring four of the last six points to end things at 30-19. Collymore again led the Gators with five kills in the game.
Florida returns to action Wednesday, Oct. 6 for a Sunshine Network televised match at Georgia slated for a 7 p.m. start. The contest will also be carried live on WRUF-AM 850 and onwww.GatorZone.com