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Friday December 2, 2005Killingsworth, Collymore Guide VB To NCAA Regional Semifinals With Sweep of K-State

GAINESVILLE, Fla.

In the final home match of her career, senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) finished with a double-double, while sophomore middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) had match highs in kills and points as fourth-ranked and eighth seeded Florida advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals with a 3-0 win (30-21, 31-29, 30-25) against No. 24 Kansas State on Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center before a crowd of 2,364.

 

Florida will advance to the Omaha Regional Semifinal where the Gators will face the winning team from the Louisville sub-regional on Dec. 9 at the Qwest Center.

 

The Gators (32-2) advanced to the Regional Semifinals for the 14th time in 15 seasons by finishing with more kills (63-54) and digs (61-49), while out-hitting the Wildcats (21-11) as UF had an efficiency of .361-.261.

 

“As predicted, our second-round matches have been awfully exciting,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “Kansas State competed and played hard and they’re doing that with one senior. A 3-0 win isn’t reflective of how close this was. There are no easy wins left.”

 

Killingsworth tallied a career-high 19 kills and added a match-high 21.5 points, while also picking up five total blocks.

 

“Those 19 kills she got were against two blockers and Angie did a great job of getting her the ball,” Wise said.

 

Collymore posted her 44th career double-double with 18 kills on .302 hitting with 11 digs. She became just the second player in school history with two 500 kill seasons as she has 508 in 2005. Senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) finished with a match-high 21 digs and sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) added 54 assists, nine digs, four kills and two blocks.

 

The Gators wrapped up their 2005 home season by going a perfect 18-0 – the eighth team in UF history to accomplish the feat.

                           

The opening frame was a see-saw affair until a 7-1 run midway through gave the Gators a commanding lead en route to a 30-21 win. The teams traded the advantage back and forth in the beginning stages with the score tied as late as 11-11. Florida went on a 4-1 spurt in moving on top 15-12 following a solo block by Collymore. K-State pulled within a pair at 17-15, but UF responded by scoring seven of the next eight points. Killingsworth led the way with three kills in the stretch with Collymore adding two as the Gators went ahead 24-16. The Wildcats never challenged again before sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) and Killingsworth ended the game with block assists. The Gators hit a blistering .469 in the game with Collymore leading all players with seven kills on .500 hitting.

 

In game two, the theme was big runs and each team had plenty to spare, but the Gators were able to secure the key points in a 31-29 win. Florida opened things with the first six points behind the serve of sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) and two kills apiece from Collymore and Killingsworth. The Wildcats gradually came back and later used a 6-1 run to tie the game at 11-11. Florida promptly tallied four of the next five to bump its lead back to three at 15-12, but the Wildcats didn’t fade even when the Gators mounted a 5-1 stretch in moving ahead 20-15. K-State battled back, even taking the lead at 26-25. Florida responded with the next two points on a kill by Collymore and a K-State attack error. Ties followed at 27, 28 and 29 before the Gators moved ahead 30-29 on a Killingsworth kill. The game ended with an athletic play by Killingsworth in which she moved toward the right side of the next and hit the ball crosscourt to the left side. Florid was hot again as the Gators hit .408 with 24 kills on 49 swings with Collymore and Killingsworth each totaling seven kills. Killingsworth led all players by hitting .875 in the game. Engel tied for the game high with seven digs.

 

The final game also went back and forth with K-State holding a lead as late as 24-23 before the Gators stormed back in a 30-25 win. Florida looked to be in control early as the Gators were on top 9-4 following a kill from McCray. But K-State stormed back with a 7-1 run in moving ahead 11-9. Florida responded with a 4-0 stretch to regain the advantage at 13-11. K-State then forged ahead at 15-14 before the Gators retook the lead on an ace by Hampton at 16-15. The teams sided out until the Wildcats notched three straight to move on top 24-21. Following a timeout, Florida recorded eight consecutive points with Hampton serving seven to effectively end the match. Killingsworth tallied a pair of kills and a block assist in the run. Following a KSU point that made it 29-25, Collymore ended her tenure in the O’Connell Center with a kill. Leading all players in the game, Killingsworth recorded eight kills on .438 hitting, while Engel added 10 digs.

 

Florida will return to action next weekend when the Gators travel to Omaha, Neb. For the NCAA Regional Semifinal.

 

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