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Thursday December 1, 2005VB Cruises Into NCAA 2nd Round With Sweep of FAU; Will Face K-State Friday

GAINESVILLE, Fla.

Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) led a balanced attack with 14 kills on .367 hitting as fourth-ranked and eighth-seeded Florida defeated Florida Atlantic 3-0 (30-19, 30-15, 30-14) in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Championship Thursday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center before a crowd of 1,533 fans.

 

Florida (31-2) dominated the Owls (29-3) in claiming the program’s 16th straight NCAA opening match win as the Gators also moved to 11-0 in first round matches. Florida will face No. 24 Kansas State in second-round action at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Wildcats defeated Florida A&M 3-1 in the other first-round match in Gainesville.

 

The Gators dominated Florida Atlantic in finishing with more kills (45-37), aces (8-2) and blocks (7.0-1.0). The Gators also hit a blistering .430 compared to only .049 for the Owls.

 

“It was a very solid performance as indicated by the numbers,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “We were low-error and very good offensively. Angie took care of running the offense and our players delivered. To be low-error and win 3-0 - in the NCAA Tournament, you’ll take any win so it’s extra special to do it in this way.

 

Kansas State will be one of the best serving and passing teams we’ve faced – they’re very physical and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

 

Sophomore Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) also fared well for the Gators with nine kills on .600 hitting, while sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) added 36 assists, eight digs and a pair of blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) finished with 10 kills on .474 hitting, while adding five digs.

 

Senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) ended the match with 16 digs in moving into third in Florida history with 1,329 in her career. McGinnis’ assists in the contest gave her 1,449 for the season – the 10th-best single-season total in school history.

 

The Owls came to play in the opening game and went on top of the Gators early before Florida rebounded in a 30-19 win. Florida Atlantic scored five of the first seven points before UF rallied with seven of nine points in moving on top 12-9. Florida Atlantic closed the gap to a pair at 12-10, but the Gators went on the second of several runs, scoring seven of eight as their lead swelled to 19-11 after a kill from Collymore. The Owls closed the gap to five at 20-15, but UF then scored 10 of the final 14 points to seal the win following an FAU attack error. Collymore paced the Gators with five kills, while Hampton added four on .429 hitting and McGinnis tallied a game-high five digs.

 

After a close first 10 points, the Gators erupted in the second game and used a 9-0 run to easily get by the Owls, 30-15. With the score tied 4-4, UF tallied five straight points on three FAU attack errors and kills from Collymore and Killingsworth. The Owls came within five at 11-6, but Florida mounted a 9-0 run in streaking ahead 20-6. Collymore, Hampton and sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) each posted a pair of kills in the stretch. Florida Atlantic never threatened again before the game ended on an Owl attack error. Collymore tied for the game high with five kills, while Engel added seven digs.

 

Florida again started impressively in the third game in scoring seven of the first eight points before going on to a 30-14 win. Hampton and junior defensive specialist Rhian Davis (Austin, Texas) served strong from the outset with Davis tallying a pair of aces and the two combing to guide UF to a 7-1 lead. Florida Atlantic came within five at 10-5, but Florida scored three straight and seven of eight to blow the game open and take a 17-6 lead. Florida Atlantic never challenged before Collymore closed out the match with a kill. The Gators hit a whopping .600 in the game – a season-best – with 15 kills on 25 swings with no errors. Collymore and Killingsworth each totaled four kills, while Engel added five digs.

 

Florida’s contest vs. Kansas State will be carried live for free on GatorVision Online with the stream set to begin at 6:50 p.m. The match will also air on WRUF-AM 850 and www.GatorZone.com.

 

No. 24 Kansas State 3, Florida A&M 1

Kansas State’s Rita Liliom finished with a career best and match-high 23 kills on .321 hitting in leading the 24th-ranked Wildcats to a 3-1 (27-30, 30-14, 30-27, 30-28) come-from-behind win vs. Florida A&M.

 

The Wildcats (21-10) advanced to Friday’s second-round match after finishing with more kills (78-70), aces (6-2), digs (73-71) and blocks (10.0-7.0), while out-hitting Florida A&M (22-6) with an efficiency of .331-.275.

 

Adriana Kostadinova ended the match with 21 kills and capped her career with 1,563 – the second-most in Florida A&M history.

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