middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.)
collected 15 kills and five blocks as No. 4 Florida captured the Wells Fargo
Thanksgiving Classic title by sweeping Denver
(30-23, 30-22, 30-21) Saturday evening at Hamilton Gymnasium.
win, the Gators (30-2) picked up their 30th victory of the season
the 11th time under coach Mary Wise that UF has reached the 30-win
plateau. The Gators finished with more kills (56-38), digs (48-36), aces (5-4)
and blocks (11.0-9.0), while out-hitting Denver
(17-11) with an efficiency of .333 to .122.
a fun match to play, Wise said. Denver
competed and did a lot of good things. Angie McGinnis did such a great job of
getting the ball to Kisya that she became very difficult to defend.
outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.)
was named the MVP of the tournament her fourth such honor this season.
Against the Pioneers, she tallied 12 kills, eight digs and five blocks.
Sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.)
was also named to the tournament team after finishing the match with 53
assists, nine digs and one block. Sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville,
Fla.) also fared well for UF
with a season-best 14 kills on .300 hitting with eight digs and a pair of
libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.)
also surpassed another milestone as her match-high 16 digs gave her 1,313 in
her career as she became just the fourth player in school history to reach the
opening game was tight until the Gators scored 10 of the final 12 points in a
30-22 win. Close throughout, UF went on its first run by tallying five of six
points in moving on top 8-4. The Pioneers came back to take leads at 12-11 and
14-12. But Florida
responded with a 6-1 run as the Gators regained the advantage at 18-15 as Killingsworth
provided four kills in the stretch. Denver again
deficit and tied the game at 20-20. But the Gators scored three straight points
with two coming on block assists from Collymore and sophomore middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.).
DU narrowed the gap to a pair at 23-21, but Florida
scored seven of the next nine points, including a kill by sophomore opposite
hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas)
from the right-side to end the game. Killingsworth and Hampton tied for the
game high with six kills each, while McGinnis led all players with seven digs. Klinkenborg
chipped in with three blocks, including one solo.
Florida mounted several lengthy runs in
the second game in turning a close affair into a 30-22 win. Denver started strong by scoring seven of the
opening nine points. Florida fought back to take the lead at 9-8 after six
consecutive points behind the serve of junior defensive specialist Rhian Davis (Austin, Texas) and three kills
from Killingsworth. The teams sided out until the Pioneers took their final
lead at 14-13. Immediately after, the Gators tallied the next five points with
Killingsworth providing a pair of kills in the run as UF went ahead 18-15.
Denver again came as close as three at 19-16, but UF notched the next five
points in building an insurmountable advantage at 24-17 before the game ended
on a Hampton kill. Killingsworth dominated the game with nine kills on 12
swings (.750 hitting), while also adding three blocks. Engel led all players
with six digs.
Gators took control from the beginning of the third game before going on to a
30-21 win. Florida scored six of the first
eight points in streaking out to a 6-2 advantage with Davis providing strong serving and an ace in
the run. The Pioneers remained within striking distance until Florida
went on a 7-3 run as the Gator lead swelled to eight at 20-12 and Denver never got closer
than six before Collymore ended the match with a kill. Hampton and Collymore
paced the Gators with six kills each as UF hit .464 in the game, while
collecting 5.0 total blocks.
Florida will next await the announcement
of the field for the 2005 NCAA Championship, which can be seen live at 2:30
p.m. (ET) on Sunday on ESPNews. Florida
has hosted first and second round action in 13 of the last 14 seasons and has
appeared in the NCAA Championship 15 times (1987, 1991-present)