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Jane Collymore ended her career with her 46th double-double

Saturday December 10, 2005Top-Ranked Nebraska Ends VB's Run Just Shy of Final Four


Jane Collymore ended her career with her 46th double-double

Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) capped her illustrious career by leading fourth-ranked and eighth-seeded Florida with 12 kills, but it wasn’t enough to overcome No. 1 Nebraska as the Huskers advanced to the Final Four as the Gators fell 3-0 (26-30, 24-30, 16-30) before an NCAA record crowd of 15,119 at the Qwest Center.


Florida (33-3) saw its season end with the Gators notching their third 30-win season in the last four years and the program’s 12th Elite Eight berth in head coach Mary Wise’s 15 seasons. The Huskers (32-1) will advance to the 2005 Final Four next week in San Antonio.


“We lost to a great Nebraska team that played awfully well,” Wise said. “With Nebraska, you’re almost forced to play perfect. Our team came in and played hard, but it wasn’t enough to win. This senior class was part of a lot of wins and had a pretty good run for four years.”


Collymore, sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) and sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) each were named to the Omaha Regional All-Tournament team.


The attendance figure topped Friday evening’s session in Omaha as the highest number of fans to ever watch a collegiate volleyball match.


“We were part of history,” Wise said. “It was a special night for volleyball and it does so much for our sport.”


Collymore led the Gators with 12 kills and added 10 digs in fittingly ending her career with her 46th double-double. Senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) closed out her tenure at Florida ranked second in school history in career digs (1,372). The senior class composed a 132-13 record (.910 winning percentage) in four seasons and advanced to a pair of Final Fours.


Sophomore middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) tallied 10 kills on .350 hitting, while McCray added seven kills on .313 hitting.


The opening game was tight with Florida preventing the Huskers from stringing more than three straight points until Nebraska mounted a 7-2 run in the latter stages in a 30-26 win. Things were close early on with the Gators creating a four-point advantage on the heels of a 6-1 run that gave them the lead at 9-6 after a service ace down the line from McGinnis. Florida held the advantage until Nebraska tied the game at 14-14 and then went on top 16-14. UF responded with a 5-1 run with Collymore providing a pair of kills and a block assist in the stretch as the Gators moved in front 19-17. Following an attack error by the Huskers, Florida’s lead was three at 21-18. But Nebraska got its offense going as the Huskers scored seven of the next nine points with four coming on kills and a pair on blocks. Following the run, the Huskers led 25-23. The Gators came within one at 25-24 after a kill from sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) and at 26-25 after a Killingsworth kill on the slide. But Nebraska closed out the game by tallying four of the final five points.  Killingsworth and Collymore each notched four kills to lead Florida, while sophomore middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Collymore each had three blocks.


Despite a 10-0 run midway through game two in which the Gators took the lead, Nebraska was able to retake control in a 30-24 win. After the Huskers had built an early advantage the Gators came back within a pair at 9-7 after a Nebraska service error. But the Huskers then went on a 6-1 run in boosting their lead to seven at 15-8. The Gators didn’t relent and behind the serve of Engel, Florida mounted a 10-0 run. Killingsworth led the way with a pair of blocks and after a kill down the middle, the Gators were in front 18-15. Nebraska fought back with the next four points in regaining the advantage at 19-18. Florida tied the game at 19-19, 20-20 and 21-21 after a Collymore kill from the left side, but Nebraska notched the next six points to move on top 27-21 and effectively end the game. Collymore paced UF with six kills in the game with Killingsworth adding five.


The Huskers used an 8-1 run midway through the third game in eventually sealing the match with a 30-16 win. The Gators started strong in scoring the first three points on a kill by Collymore, an ace by freshman defensive specialist Christina Diaz (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and a kill by Klinkenborg. Nebraska responded with four consecutive points, but UF didn’t go away as the teams sided out until the Gators narrowed the gap to one after a Nebraska double-hit at 9-8. But the Huskers posted five straight points and 12 of the next 14 in forging ahead 21-10 before ending the match at 30-16. Collymore paced UF with four kills in the game.


With the loss to top-ranked Nebraska, Florida’s season has ended with a loss to the eventual national champion or No. 1 team in four consecutive years.


Florida will return 10 of its 12 players in 2006 as the Gators were one of the youngest teams in the nation in 2005 with eight of 12 players being underclassmen.


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