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Sunday November 13, 2005No. 5 VB Sweeps Miss. State To Close Out SEC Regular Season; UF To Face Georgia In SEC Tournament

GAINESVILLE, Fla.

Sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) tallied 35 assists, five kills, five digs, four aces and three blocks in guiding No. 5 Florida to a 3-0 sweep of Mississippi State (30-13, 30-21, 30-17) on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 2,003 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

 

The Gators (25-2, 15-1) earned the No. 1 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament and will being play in the first round by taking on Georgia (10-16, 5-11) at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Coleman Auxiliary Volleyball Extension in Tuscaloosa.

 

"At some point, you have to step back and realize that SEC Championships don't come easy," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "For us to do it 15 straight years means we've had a lot of great players. We believe teams are a reflection of their senior class and this year we've done some great things.

 

"We'll be playing Georgia in the first round and they're coming off a big win," Wise said. "From top to bottom, you can throw out the numbers next to the teams in the SEC Tournament this year and you couldn't say the same thing in years before."

 

Florida improved to 28-0 all-time vs. Mississippi State (15-11, 6-10), which made the SEC Tournament as a No. 7 seed for the first time since the field was reduced to eight teams in 1999. The Gators improved to 84-3 all-time in games vs. the Bulldogs, while the win gave UF 25 on the season. The occasion marked the 15th straight year in which Florida reached 25 victories - the longest stretch of any team in the top 10 of the latest AVCA poll.

 

Florida finished with more kills (49-28), digs (40-30) aces (9-0) and blocks (8.0-7.0) and out-hit Mississippi State .311-.086.

 

On senior day, outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) tallied 13 digs to lead the Gators, while adding three aces. Senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) finished with 11 digs in extending her streak of consecutive matches in double figures to 16. The duo sports a record of 123-12 in their three-plus seasons for a winning percentage of .911.

 

Sophomore middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) led UF with 13 kills on .308 hitting and added a match-high five blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) added 11 kills on .333 hitting with eight digs, while sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) chimed in with eight kills on .375 hitting.

 

Mississippi State took an early lead in the first game before Florida roared back in a 30-13 win. After the Bulldogs crept out to a 7-5 advantage, the Gators tallied the next six points and 10 of 11 in moving on top 15-7. McGinnis served four of the points and notched a pair of aces, while Collymore also added a pair of kills and an ace in the stretch. The Rebels never threatened again before the game ended on block assists from McCray and freshman middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.). After four early attack errors, the Gators rebounded to hit .370 in the game to just .000 for the Bulldogs. Collymore and Killingsworth tied for the game high with three kills, while Florida finished just one ace shy of its season best in a game with five.

 

The Bulldogs again went on top early in the second game, but Florida took advantage of a pair of lengthy runs to move ahead in a 30-21 win. After a service error by the Gators made the score 11-9 in favor of the Bulldogs, Florida scored six of the next seven points to charge ahead 15-11 after a kill from Collymore on an angle shot. Mississippi State fought back to take the lead at 16-15, but sophomore middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) responded with a kill and McGinnis added an ace to bring the Gators on top at 17-16. After a kill by the Bulldogs tied the game at 17-17, Florida went on an 8-0 run behind the serve of Collymore in bringing its lead to an insurmountable eight points at 25-17 before the Gators ended the game with a Killingsworth kill on an overpass. Killingsworth led all players with five kills in the game and added a pair of blocks, while Collymore tallied a game-high six digs.

 

The Gators changed things up in the final game and dominated from the outset in a 30-17 win. Florida never trailed and opened the frame with a decisive 10-1 run due in part to the serving of junior defensive specialist Rhian Davis (Austin, Texas) and Killinsworth, who had three kills in the stretch. The Bulldogs came within six twice at 11-5 and 17-11, but Florida reeled off five straight points afterwards as the Gator lead swelled to 22-11 before Bowers closed out the match with a kill. The Gators out-hit Mississippi State .400-.114 in the game with Hampton leading the way with five kills on .571 hitting, while Killingsworth added three blocks.

 

Florida will return to action on Friday, Nov. 18 when the Gators begin play at the SEC Tournament in the first round. Audio of the contest will be carried live on www.GatorZone.com. Radio station coverage will be determined at a later date.

 

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