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Friday September 9, 2005Engel Leads No. 6 VB Past No. 13 Texas A&M, 3-1

SAN ANTONIO, Texas

Five different players finished in double figures in kills in leading the No. 6 Florida volleyball team past No. 13 Texas A&M 3-1 (30-28, 19-30, 30-24, 30-26) Friday evening at the UTSA Dome Rally at the Alamodome – the largest venue ever to host a volleyball match.

 

Senior Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) paced the Gators with 23 digs, while sophomore middle blockers Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) and Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) ended the match with career highs in kills with 12 and 11, respectively. Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) had 13 kills and 17 digs and moved into eighth in career kills in UF history with 1,169. The Gators (6-0) were out-hit (.261-.225) and out-dug (64-61) by Texas A&M (6-1), but finished with more total blocks (10.0-8.0) and aces (5-3). Sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) matched her career high with 11 kills.

 

“Texas A&M prides themselves on their serving and blocking and we finished with more in both categories tonight,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “Credit goes to Rachel, Jane and Marcie. Rachel was stellar. She was just terrific and we needed that to get through the ugly parts. Each of the sophomores played great as well. It was a good team win for us.”

 

Sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) added 13 kills for the Gators, who moved to 76-39 against ranked teams under Wise. Sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) finished with 50 assists, nine digs, three kills and two blocks.

 

In the opening game, the Gators fell behind early as the Aggies were firing on all cylinders in building a 9-5 advantage. But Florida scored five straight points to take their first lead at 10-9 as Hampton tallied a pair of kills and Killingsworth added two block assists in the stretch. Texas A&M came back, pulling ahead 14-12 and later at 18-17. But the Gators scored three straight points to move ahead 20-18 and never trailed the rest of the game. The teams traded points and timeouts until Hampton ended the game on an offspeed kill at 30-28. Hampton led the Gators with six kills on .333 hitting with Killingsworth adding five kills at an efficiency of .625. Collymore led all players with nine digs in the game.

 

Game two started in much the same fashion as the opening frame, but the Gators couldn’t overcome Texas A&M’s early lead and fell 30-19. The Aggies streaked out to a 9-3 advantage as the Gators didn’t put together a string of three straight points until pulling within four at 15-11 after an Aggie attack error. Florida narrowed the gap to three at 17-14 after a kill from Killingsworth, but behind the serve of Christi Hahn, Texas A&M went on an 8-0 run to move ahead 25-14, effectively ending the game. Killingsworth led the Gators in the game with four kills.

 

The third game seesawed back and forth before the Gators used an 10-2 run in the latter stages to forge ahead before winning 30-24. With the score tied at 15-15, the Aggies scored three straight points to move ahead 18-15. But the Gators scored four consecutive points to go back in front 19-18. Texas A&M tied the game at 19 and 20, but Florida then captured the next five points behind the serve of Collymore to go on top 25-21. The Aggies came as close as three at 26-23, but the Gators eventually closed out the match on a Texas A&M error. Klinkenborg led the Gators with five kills in the game on eight swings.

 

In the fourth and decisive game, Florida again overcame an early deficit to close out the match at 30-26. With the Gators leading 4-2, Texas A&M scored six straight points to move ahead 8-4. The Gators slowly clawed their way back and took the lead at 12-11 on block assists from Collymore and Killingsworth. The teams went back and forth until the Gators went on a 6-2 run to build a 25-21 lead after a kill from Klinkenborg. The Aggies didn’t go away as they came within one at 26-25, but following a Gator timeout, Florida scored four of the final five points as Hampton and Killingsworth ended the match with block assists.  Collymore and Klinkenborg each had four kills in the final frame, while Engel had 10 of her digs.

 

Florida returns to action on the second day of the Dome Rally when the Gators face No. 8 Southern California at 5:30 p.m. (ET). The match will be webcast live on www.Gatorzone.com.

 

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