Oxford, MS - Junior Florida right-side/setter Kelly Murphy
(Wilmington, Ill.) posted her nation-leading sixth triple-double of the
season and the No. 1 Gators recorded one of their most complete wins of the season on Friday in a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-17) decision against
Southeastern Conference Western Division leader Ole Miss in the Gillom Sports Center.
The Gators (20-1, 13-0 SEC) clinched their 20th consecutive 20-win
season with the victory, out-blocking the Rebels 9.0-1.0 in the match.
Florida hit .368 on the evening, marking its fourth consecutive match of
hitting better than .300, and limited Ole Miss to just an .067 hitting
efficiency, the second consecutive match that the Gators have held their
opponent under .100 hitting.
“I thought our team really brought their ‘A’ game today,” Florida head
coach Mary Wise said. “With the quick turnaround from Wednesday night’s match, the travel yesterday and playing in this environment against a really good Ole Miss team, the way we played was a real testament to our team’s maturity. I thought everyone gave their best effort today and we won this match with serving and blocking.”
Murphy’s 10 kills came on .562 hitting with a team-high 16 assists and a match-high 10 digs. She also added two service aces for a team-high 12.0 total points. It was Murphy’s sixth triple-double of the season and,
impressively, her third in a three-set match this year. Murphy’s
triple-double was the 21st of her collegiate career and it also marked
her eighth consecutive double-double.
“Kelly was outstanding tonight, but she had a lot of help from her
teammates around her,” Wise said. “This was a great win – Ole Miss had been undefeated at home and we came in and played really well with not a lot of preparation time. Ole Miss is an NCAA team that has a chance to win the SEC West.”
Sophomore right-side Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) charted nine kills
on a .417 hitting efficiency with five blocks, while junior outside
hitter Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) and senior outside hitter
Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) each registered seven kills and six
digs apiece. Rivers hit .368 in the match, marking her third consecutive
match hitting better than .350, and her second straight match without
committing a single attack error.
Senior middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe (Long Beach, Calif.) recorded a
match-high six blocks, while junior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson
(Bakersfield, Calif.) added three blocks.
Freshman setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) dished out 13 assists to
complement seven digs, while senior libero Erin Fleming (Orlando, Fla.)
added eight digs.
The Gators raced out to an early 5-2 advantage before the Rebels
answered with two consecutive kills to cut within one at 5-4. A Rivers
kill and a block by Anderson and Jaeckel on consecutive plays sparked a 3-0 run that extended Florida’s advantage to four, 8-4. The Gators kept
rolling to an 11-6 advantage thanks to kills by Jaeckel and Murphy that
forced Ole Miss head coach Joe Getzin to burn a timeout.
Out of the break, Florida ran off four consecutive points, including a
pair of aces by Murphy, to widen its lead to nine, 15-6, heading into
another Rebel timeout. From there, the Gators used a 6-2 run that
included three big blocks to go up 21-8. Ole Miss ran off a pair of
points to cut within 11, 21-10, but back-to-back attack errors by the
Rebels extended Florida’s lead back to 13, 23-10. The Gators easily
closed out the 25-12 first-set victory. Florida limited Ole Miss to a
-.116 hitting efficiency in the first frame and the Gators won the
blocking battle 5.0-1.0.
Ole Miss took a 3-1 lead to begin the second sewithin one, 4-3, on a Rivers kill, the Rebels scored three consecutive
points to go up 7-3 and force a timeout by the Gators. Out of the break,
a Murphy kill and an attack error by Whitney Craven allowed Florida to
cut within two, 7-5. Trailing 8-5, the Gators got a kill from Murphy and
another Ole Miss attack error on back-to-back plays to whittle its
deficit down to one, 8-7. After the two teams traded points, successive
kills by Wiggs and Jaeckel knotted the score at 10-all.
After another tie at 11, Murphy charted a kill and Brown served
back-to-back aces to extend Florida’s advantage to three, 14-11, and
force a Rebel timeout. Trailing 16-13 after a Rivers kill, back-to-back
kills by Ole Miss brought it within one, 16-15. The two teams began
trading points, but a Wiggs attack error and a Regina Thomas kill
allowed Ole Miss to knot the score at 18-18. A Jaeckel kill stopped the
Gators’ scoring slide, sparking a 3-0 Florida run that it in front
21-18, and caused a timeout by the Rebels. The squads traded points
before the Gators clinched a 25-21 second-set victory. UF hit an
impressive .500 in the second frame.
The two teams battled evenly to begin the third set before the Gators
broke to a 6-3 advantage after back-to-back kills by Anderson and Brown. After the Rebels cut within two, 6-4, Murphy charted back-to-back kills to extend Florida’s edge back to four, 8-4, and force an Ole Miss timeout. The Gators kept rolling to an 11-5 advantage, capped off by a Craven attack error.
From there, the Rebels responded with three consecutive points to cut
within three, 11-8. With her team ahead 12-8, Jaeckel served
back-to-back aces and Rivers followed with a kill to give Florida a 15-8
lead and cause Getzin to burn his last timeout. The Gators kept rolling
to go in front 20-11 on an Ole Miss attack error. The Rebels came as
close as seven on several occasions, last at 24-17, before a Wiggs kill
gave Florida the 25-17 match-clinching win.
The Rebels (16-6, 10-3 SEC) were led by Thomas’ match-high 12 kills on .475 hitting and Miranda Kitts’ eight kills on .444 hitting. Craven, who
entered the match as the team’s kill leader at with 3.17 kills per set,
did not record a kill and committed 13 attack errors on the evening.
Florida returns to action on Friday when it travels to Athens, Ga., to
take on Georgia. Opening serve in the Ramsey Student Center is slated
for 7 p.m. ET