Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) led
No. 7 Florida with 14 kills in finishing with a double-double as the Gators
opened the Campus USA Credit Union Classic with a 3-0 win against IPFW (30-14,
30-17, 30-19) before a crowd of 2,033 fans Friday evening at the Stephen C.
The win for Florida (8-1) marked the
228th in a row against unranked opponents and stands as the Gators’
15th straight win in regular season home tournaments. Freshman
middle blocker Kelsey Bowers
(Gainesville, Fla.) also fared well on the evening in her first career
start as she became the first UF freshman MB since Benavia Jenkins in 2000 to
reach double figures in kills as she posted 11 on 14 attempts (.786 hitting) in
helping the Gators hand the Mastadons (8-1) their first loss of the season.
“It was a match where
there were a lot of good numbers,” Florida
coach Mary Wise said. “We did some really good things tonight led by the
performance of Kelsey Bowers. She put up numbers that we haven’t seen since
Benavia and that’s exciting for our team.”
The Gators out-hit the
Mastadons .310-.000 and finished with more kills (44-31), aces (5-2), digs
(59-37) and blocks (13.0-7.0) with UF’s block total tying a season-high.
Senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.)
ended the contest with 16 digs – her 22nd straight match in double
figures. She’s now tied for ninth place in Florida history with 954 career digs.
Sophomore middle blocker Kisya
Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) also had a stellar match for UF with six
kills on 10 swings with two solo blocks and five block assists for a
career-best seven total blocks.
The Gators made short work
of the Mastadons in the opening game as Florida
raced out to leads of 5-1 and 12-2 before cruising to a 30-14 win. The serve of
sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton
(Gainesville, Fla.), Killingsworth and sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) fueled
Florida’s initial success, while Collymore and Killingsworth had two kills
apiece in the stretch. The Mastadons never recovered to make the game close
before the things ended on an IPFW service error. Florida hit a sparkling .409 in the game
with Collymore and Bowers each collecting four kills with Bowers also adding
three block assists as the Gators finished with 4.0 in the game.
IPFW made things a little
more interesting in game two as the Mastadons took an early lead before a 10-0
Gator run propelled Florida
to a 30-17 win. With IPFW ahead 6-5, the Gators forced a side out on block
assists from Bowers and Hampton. Collymore then served nine straight points for
Florida with Hampton providing three kills in the stretch
as the Gators went from down one to ahead nine at 15-6. The Mastadons never
threatened again and Florida closed out the
game on a kill from junior Stefanie
Douglas (Belton, Texas). The Gators hit .325 in the game
compared to just .048 for IPFW. Bowers was again on fire as she had six kills
on eight swings (.750 hitting), while the Gators picked up 4.0 blocks to just
1.0 for IPFW.
The final game was close
until the midway point when the Gators took control before eventually sealing
the contest with a 30-19 win. The Gators jumped out to a 10-5 lead after a kill
from Killingsworth, but the Mastadons battled back within three at 15-12 and at
16-13. But Florida scored five of the next six
points and seven of the next nine to move on top by eight at 23-15 and the
Mastadons never got closer than seven before Hampton ended the match with a kill.
Collymore paced the Gators with six kills in the last game with Engel adding
eight digs and Killingsworth posting four blocks.
The Gators will return to
action Saturday for the final day of the tournament. Eastern Michigan and IPFW
will play at 3 p.m. with the Florida
vs. UC Irvine match to follow at 5:30 p.m. The contest will be webcast on www.GatorZone.com.
Fans wishing to attend Florida’s match who
possess a ticket to the UF-Tennessee football game will be admitted free. Also,
a parking shuttle from Macy’s at the Oaks Mall will begin service at 4:30 p.m.
and will transport fans to the O’Connell Center.
UC Irvine Def. Eastern Michigan 3-1
Lauren Kellerman led all
players with 18 kills on .405 hitting, while teammate Amanda Vazquez added 16
kills on .556 hitting as UC-Irvine (5-5) defeated Eastern Michigan (5-3) in
four games (30-20, 30-20, 19-30, 30-28) in the opening contest of the Campus
USA Credit Union Classic.
The Anteaters finished
with more kills (74-57), digs (92-71) and blocks (8.0-7.0), while out-hitting
the Eagles .309-.186.
Lindsay Piccolini led Eastern Michigan with 12 kills on .312 hitting.