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Jane Collymore paced Florida with 14 kills against Notre Dame

Sunday September 11, 2005No. 6 VB Drops First Match of Season To No. 19 Notre Dame

SAN ANTONIO, Texas

Jane Collymore paced Florida with 14 kills against Notre Dame

Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) finished with 14 kills, while senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) added 29 digs, but No. 6 Florida couldn’t overcome facing its third ranked opponent in three days as the Gators fell to No. 19 Notre Dame 3-0 (28-30, 29-31, 28-30) on Sunday at the final day of the UTSA Dome Rally at the Alamodome.

 

Each game was tight with crucial points as the end of every game swinging Notre Dame’s way. The Gators (7-1) played three ranked opponents in three days for the first time in the 14-plus year tenure of Mary Wise and came away 2-1 with wins against No. 8 Southern California and No. 13 Texas A&M. The statistics were close across the board with Notre Dame (6-0) holding an advantage in kills (54-52), hitting percentage (.202-.172) and blocks (13.0-12.0), but the Gators finished with more digs (76-74).

 

“This was a match against a team that has a chance to go to the Final Four,” Wise said. “They have all the pieces and are the real deal. They might be a top-five team right now. We got beat by a better team today, but to come out of this tournament 2-1 – we’re a much better team now than we were.”

 

Engel finished with 29 digs, narrowly missed her second straight 30-dig match, while Collymore had 14 kills. Sophomore Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) added 12 kills, while sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) ended the match with 41 assists, 15 digs four blocks and one kill. Sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) added a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs.

 

The opening frame featured extended scoring stretches by both teams, including a late Gator rally to get back into the game, but Notre Dame eventually prevailed, 30-28. The Gators opened by taking control with a kill from McCray giving UF an 11-8 lead. But the Irish mounted an 8-0 run to go on top 16-11. Florida gradually scratched its way back into the game, coming within three at 20-17 after a Notre Dame service error. The Irish then tallied the next three points to take a 23-17 advantage and later held a 25-19 lead. But the Gators again battled back, scoring five straight points, the last three all coming on block assists from the duo of junior opposite hitter Stefanie Douglas (Belton, Texas) and sophomore middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.). The Irish responded with three more points and led 28-24. Florida refused to go away, scoring four consecutive points in tying the game at 28-28 after a kill from Collymore. But the Irish scored the final two points to end the game. Collymore led the Gators with six kills, while Engel led all players with 13 digs. The Gators dropped the game despite out-blocking Notre Dame 5.0-3.0 with Klinkenborg tallying four blocks on her own.

 

The second game was even closer than the first as the Gators trailed for much of the game before coming back in the latter stages, but the Irish came through with a 31-29 win. Notre Dame took an early 5-2 lead and maintained a small advantage for the majority of the game. But the Gators hung close and came back to tie the game at 25-25 after three straight points, the last of which came on a Collymore kill. The Irish responded with two points, which was followed by a kill from Collymore before the teams traded points to make it 29-27. Florida fought off one match point with another Collymore kill and tied the game at 29-29 when McCray hammered home a kill on the right side. But after a timeout, Notre Dame sealed the game with the final two points. McCray paced the Gators with six kills, while Collymore added six digs in the game.

 

The Gators took control in the opening stages of the third game, building a two-point lead at 7-5 that UF maintained for a majority of the game. After the Irish came back to the game at 20-20, the Gators eventually took a 24-22 lead after a kill from Collymore. Notre Dame again tied things up at 26-26 before Florida tallied points on a kill from Hampton and an Irish attack error. But Notre Dame came through in the clutch with four straight points to close out the match at 30-28.

 

Florida returns to action when the Gators host the Campus USA Credit Union Classic Sept. 16-17 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Eastern Michigan will take on UC-Irvine at 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 with UF’s match vs. IPFW to follow at 7:30 p.m. Matches will be played on Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. and 5:30 with the Gators set to play in the second match regardless of Friday’s outcome. Florida’s match on Friday will be carried live on WRUF-AM 850 and www.GatorZone.com, while Saturday’s match will be webcast.

 

 

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