middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth
(Deltona, Fla.) finished with a match-high 16 kills on .591 hitting, while
senior outside hitter Jane Collymore
(Englewood, Colo.) earned tournament MVP honors as No. 4 Florida captured
its 12th Southeastern Conference Tournament title in the last 14
seasons by beating sixth-seeded Alabama 3-0 (30-25, 30-25, 30-17) Sunday
afternoon at the Coleman Auxiliary Volleyball Extension.
Florida (28-2) improved to 42-3 under
coach Mary Wise in the SEC Tournament as UF swept the SEC regular season and
tournament titles for the 12th time in her 15 seasons as coach. The
opening two games were relatively tight before Florida came out after the break
and easily handled Alabama (23-9) in only its third loss at home in 2005.
been fortunate over the years to play in this match a number of times and this
tournament was different than any other in that teams one through eight were
strong,” Wise said. “Every title is special, but to beat the three teams we
beat in consecutive days, including the hot team Alabama on their home court – this is the
most competitive tournament this league has had since I arrived in 1986.”
ended the contest with 13 kills and five digs in picking up the 11th
SEC Tournament MVP award in Florida
history. Killingsworth and sophomore Angie
McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) were both named to the
All-Tournament team as well.
joined Aury Cruz (2000-03) and Missy Aggertt (1993-95) as the only players in
school history to be named to the SEC All-Tournament Team at least three times.
the ability to get kills against even three blockers, which she did today,”
Wise said. “She brings so much to the table. She’s able to beat you from both
the front row and the back row.”
Florida finished with more kills (48-40), aces (6-3), digs
(42-37) and blocks (11.0-5.0), while out-hitting Alabama .311-.108. The Gators improved to
24-0 all-time vs. the Crimson Tide.
libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) tallied 14 digs in the contest to break her own
school record for digs in a season as she now has 519 compared to her previous
mark of 510. McGinnis added 38 assists, four kills on .571 hitting, eight digs
and four blocks.
Crimson Tide began the first game by scoring the opening four points, the
Gators used a 9-1 run to regain control before claiming a 30-25 win. Alabama
put the first four points on the scoreboard before the Gators rallied with nine
of the next 10 as the serving of junior defensive specialist Rhian Davis (Austin, Texas) and
sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville,
Fla.) combined with four kills by Collymore and three from Killingsworth
gave Florida a 9-5 lead. Alabama
didn’t go away as the Crimson Tide came back to retake the lead at 12-11. The
Gators responded with three of the next four points in moving ahead 14-13. Alabama tied the game at 14-14 and 18-18, but Florida tallied three
consecutive points to take the lead for good at 21-18 and UA never came closer.
Sophomore middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg
(Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
eventually put the game away with a kill on a slide play. Killingsworth
paced all players with seven kills on .455 hitting, while Engel had a game-high
second game was a tight affair until a 7-1 run from the Gators at the midway
point gave UF enough of a cushion in a 30-25 win. Things stayed close in the
opening stages with neither team leading by more than three points. The game
was tied as late as 12-12, but Florida
tallied a pair of points on kills from McGinnis and Collymore to move on top for
good at 14-12. The Crimson Tide again came within a pair at 16-14, but the
Gators came back with a 7-1 run to boost their lead to seven at 22-15. Alabama did close the gap to three at 28-25, but Florida ended the game
with two points on Crimson Tide attack errors. UF hit .306 in the game to just
.075 for Alabama,
while McCray and Killingsworth tied for the game high with four kills each. Florida also out-blocked
UA 5.0-0.0 with McGinnis finishing with three to lead all players.
Florida came out strong from the outset in the final game and put
in the early stages before wrapping up the match in a 30-17 win. The Gators
scored the first three points before the Crimson Tide eventually came back to
tie the game at 4-4. But Florida
then notched seven of the next eight points as the Gator lead swelled to 11-5.
Behind three straight kills from Killingsworth, the Gators eventually built a
16-7 advantage and later led by 13 points at 22-9 before Collymore closed out
the match with a kill. Collymore and Killingsworth again led all players with
five kills in the game, while UF out-hit Alabama
.393-.094 with Killingsworth going a perfect 5-for-5 with five kills on as many
Florida returns to action for the Wells Fargo Thanksgiving
Tournament, which will be held on the campus of Denver University.
The Gators will play No. 24 Colorado at 7 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Nov. 25 and will
face Denver at
9:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Nov. 26. Neither match will be broadcast, but live
statistics will be available via www.denverpioneers.com.
Jane Collymore, Florida
Jane Collymore, Florida
Kisya Killingsworth, Florida
Angie McGinnis, Florida