Junior Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) finished with a match-high
20 kills as No. 12 Florida defeated St. John's 3-0 (30-27, 30-12, 30-16) in the
St. John's Classic Friday evening at Carnesecca Arena.
Florida outhit St. John's with a season-best percentage
of.458 to .170 for the Red Storm, while the Gators finished with more kills
(59-32), digs (41-32), aces (9-1) and blocks (6.0-2.0). The win was Florida's 52nd
in its last 60 non-conference matches.
"Tonight, Jane was great from the get-go," Florida coach Mary Wise
said. "And it wasn't just offensively, she was
also stellar passing today. Tomorrow, we'll face a Towson team that is used to winning. We'll
see a well-coached team that's not going to roll over."
Collymore moved into sixth in Florida
history for single season kills with 540, while junior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.)
moved into second in school history for digs in a season with 454. Senior
middle blocker Sherri Williams (Orlando, Fla.)
finished with 12 kills on .571 hitting, while freshman Angie McGinnis (Fraser,
Mich.) posted a double-double
with 41 assists and 12 digs.
The Gators never trailed in the opening game, but had to
fight off a pesky St. John's
team that refused to bow down. Florida
was leading 11-9 and went on a 6-1 run to extend their lead to 17-10. Collymore
had three kills in the stretch. But the Red Storm climbed back into the game
with a 7-1 run to get within one at 18-17. Neither team scored more than two
points in a row the rest of the way as Florida
eventually closed out the game on a Collymore kill at 30-27. Collymore led the
Gators with nine kills on just 14 attempts.
Florida jumped on St. John's from the
outset in the second game, scoring the first five points and never looking back
in a 30-12 win. Already on top by four at 6-2, The Gators scored nine of 11
points in bumping their lead up to 11 at 15=4. Behind the serving of senior
middle blocker Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.),
The Gators later went on a 5-0 run to move ahead 20-6. The Gators put the game
away on a kill from Williams at 30-12. The Gators hit .613 in the game with
only two errors in 31 swings. Collymore led Florida with seven kills, while Williams
added six. McGinnis led Florida
with five digs.
The Gators again controlled the third and final game from
the first serve as Florida
never trailed in the game before closing out the match with a 30-16 win. The
Gators raced out to a 9-4 lead that the Red Storm didn't recover from. St.
John's hung with Florida through the middle stages of the game until the Gators
finished things by scoring the final seven points behind the serve of freshman Kari Klinkenborg
(Highlands Ranch, Colo.). Chatman led the Gators in the game with five
kills, while Engel added seven digs.
Florida returns to action
Saturday when the Gators will face Towson in the
championship match of the St. John's
Classic. The match is slated for a 4 p.m. start and can be heard live at www.GatorZone.com