Friday October 29, 2004Wise Earns 450th Win At Florida As No. 8 VB Beats Ole Miss
Mary Wise earned her 450th win as head coach at the University of Florida as the eighth-ranked Gators used 22 kills from junior Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) and 13 kills and nine total blocks from senior Sherri Williams (Orlando, Fla.) to defeat Ole Miss for the 20th straight time, 3-0 (30-20, 30-15, 30-21) Friday evening at the Gillom Sports Center.
The Gators (19-2 overall, 11-0) won their 141st straight Southeastern Conference regular season match and their 117th consecutive conference match overall -- extending their NCAA records in both categories. The match also was Florida's 67th straight conference win away from home. The Gators finished hitting a season-best .450 to just .132 for Ole Miss (10-13, 2-9), while the Gators finished with more kills (51-30), digs (38-28) and blocks (14.0-1.0).
"We really blocked well tonight," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "Our middles were very good again tonight and the play of Jane Collymore was absolutely phenomenal. We kept setting her the ball and it's easy to think you might be setting it to her too much, but she was really in a zone."
Collymore posted her eighth 20-plus kill match of the season -- the most by a Gator in a season since the advent of rally scoring -- while she also finished with nine digs and four blocks. Collymore hit a season-best .528, while Williams narrowly missed out on her second double-double and hit a season-best .706. Junior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) led the Gators with 11 digs, while senior middle blocker Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.) also fared well with seven kills on .500 hitting with five total blocks.
The Gators used a 12-2 run midway through the first game in pulling away from a tightly contest game before winning 30-20. The two squads traded points back and forth before the Rebels built an 8-6 lead. Florida responded with a 4-1 run to move on top 10-9 after a kill from Collymore. The Gators then went on top 13-10 after a Hampton solo block before the Rebels again came back to tie the game at 13-13. Florida then went on to score 12 of the next 14 points led by four kills from Collymore as the Gators went ahead 25-15. Florida eventually closed the game out on an Ole Miss service error. Collymore paced the Gators with nine kills in the game, while Florida outhit the Rebels .552-.189 and posted 5.0 blocks to 0.0 for the Rebels.
Florida followed up its impressive game one with an even better performance in the second game as the Gators claimed a 30-15 win. Florida outhit the Rebels .400-.024, while posting 6.0 blocks to 1.0 for Ole Miss. With the Rebels leading 4-3, Florida went on a 6-1 run to move ahead 9-5. The Rebels came as close as two at 10-8 and later at 16-14, but the Gators closed out the game with a 14-1 run that included scoring the final nine points. Included in that stretch were three kills from Williams and four total blocks. Williams had eight kills in the game to lead the Gators, while also adding six block assists. Engel had seven digs to lead Florida.
The Gators started strong in the third game and fought off a pesky Ole Miss team before using an 8-4 run late in the game to seal the match with a 30-21 win. The Gators jumped out to a 7-3 lead and extended that advantage to 18-8 after a Collymore kill. The Rebels stayed with the Gators, again narrowing the gap to four at 17-13, but that was the closest Ole Miss got. The Gators slowly pulled away before clinching the match on a kill from Williams. Collymore again paced the Gators as she had 10 kills in the game on .714 hitting, while the Gators hit .419 as a team.
Florida returns to action Sunday when the Gators travel to Mississippi State. The match is set for a 3 p.m. (EST) start and can be heard live on both WRUF-AM 850 andwww.GatorZone.com