Volleyball Shuts Out Florida Atlantic

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 9 Gators had their highest offensive output of the season, coupled with a 40-14 kill margin between the two teams, to sweep Florida Atlantic, 3-0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-18) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida improved to 5-0 on the season while FAU remains winless at 0-2.

"I thought Florida Atlantic did a nice job in the third set in terms of they obviously worked really hard at not getting blocked, but they were hitting some good shots," Florida head coach Mary Wise said.

The Gators had seven players hitting above .250, led by senior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), who contributed a match-high seven errorless kills on 10 swings, hitting .700. The Gators' other starting seniors, Cassandra Anderson (Bakersfield, Calif.), Stephanie Ferrell (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) all contributed six kills, including an errorless match for Anderson.

Florida juniors Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) and Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) combined for nine kills against the Owls, while redshirt freshman libero Taylor Unroe had her fourth-straight double-digit dig performance with 12 on the night. Murphy and sophomore setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) distributed a balanced Gator offense, accounting for 31 of Florida's 35 assists.

The Gators took an early lead on the Owls in the first frame. Ferrell served a 5-0 run with two aces to take a 5-1 lead over FAU. A service error by the Owls gave the Gators the ability to take another 8-0 run with Murphy's two aces behind the service line to bring the score to 21-7. Jaeckel delivered the final cross-court blast to put the Owls away. The Gators had a combined six aces and restricted the Owls to only three kills for the 25-10 first set win.

The second stanza was similar to the first with an early 5-1 lead by the Gators. A perfect set by Murphy facilitated Ferrell's attack on the Owls' backrow, sending the momentum toward the Gator bench once again. Brown sparked a 5-0 run behind the service line, extending Florida's lead to 11-4. Brown attacked an Owl overpass to extend the Gator lead to 21-9, and got the job done behind the service line on a 4-0 run to take the second set, 25-10. Florida hit a match-high .542 in the second set with 14 kills on one error.

The Gators went on an early 6-0 run that started with a Jaeckel bullet down the line to take a 6-2 lead over the Owls in the final set. FAU's Megan Evans had a service ace that fired up the Owls and brought FAU within two points of the Gators' lead, 14-12. The teams traded points until a kill by Santos-Lamb extended the Gators' lead to 21-16. Wiggs unleashed the final blast to win the match, 25-18.

Florida held its third opponent of 2011 to .000 or less on the attacking end, as the Owls hit .000 on the evening. Three Gators hit 1.000 as Anderson, Brown and sophomore middle hitter Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) were errorless against FAU.

The Gators now face the Clemson Tigers (4-1) at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the O'Connell Center. Fans planning on attending both the football and volleyball competitions should park in Garage IX, as the University Athletic Association will run a shuttle there through the end of the final match on Saturday.

Saturday, September 3, 2011
2:00 p.m. ET – FAU vs. Jacksonville
4:00 p.m. ET – Florida vs. Clemson


Fightin Gators Top Stories