UF Volleyball Sweeps Auburn for 6th Straight

Florida Head Coach Mary Wise

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 17 Florida volleyball team earned its sixth straight win with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 28-26) sweep of Auburn on Senior Day. Florida improves to 23-5 on the season and 16-3 in SEC play.

The Gators utilized a balanced attack, led by senior right-side setter Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), who hit .615 in the match with eight kills on 13 swings with no errors. The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist added 14 assists and three digs to tie for the match-high with 9.5 points.

Fellow senior Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) posted seven kills and a match-high seven digs to go along with three blocks and a service ace to match Murphy's match-high with 9.5 points. Junior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) registered seven kills on .455 hitting, senior outside hitter Stephanie Ferrell (Los Angeles, Calif.) notched six kills on the afternoon and middle hitters Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) and Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) had matching stats with five kills on a .44 hitting clip. Mann also registered a match-high five blocks against Auburn.

"If Auburn hadn't turned it around in the third set, I don't know how much better we would have gotten from this match," Florida head coach Mary Wise said. "Credit Auburn for turning it around (in the third set) and give credit to the Gators for grinding it out and winning in three."

Service errors plagued the Tigers, as Auburn committed 16 service errors in the match and hit just .167 on the afternoon. The Gators hit .366 on the afternoon and led the Tigers in every statistical category.

The Gators opened the set on a 5-0 run with Pole behind the service stripe, as Smith registered two kills in the opening points. Florida continued to roll, forcing an Auburn timeout at 9-2. Out of the timeout, the Gators continued their scoring streak and jumping out to a 13-3 lead and forcing the Tigers into their second timeout of the set. Anderson and Wiggs teamed up for a stuff block at 18-5 and Florida continued its run, registering another block, courtesy of Jaeckel and Mann. The Gators continued to surge and easily took the first set, 25-10. Florida hit a blistering .600 in the first stanza with three hitters (Ferrell, Murphy and Smith) hitting 1.000.

The Tigers jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second stanza, but the Gators went on a 4-0 run with Pole behind the service line. Florida continued to extend its lead, forcing an Auburn timeout at 13-9 after Ferrell slammed one through the seam of the Tiger block. Ferrell used the block for another kill and the Gators took a 16-9 lead. A Wiggs kill put Florida up, 19-11, and back-to-back Murphy kills set the Gators up with set point and an Auburn service error sealed the set for Florida, 25-17.

The teams battled for the lead in set three, with the Tigers taking as much as an 8-5 lead. The Gators pushed their way back to tie the set at 9-9 with a blast from Jaeckel. Both sides battled, with neither side taking more than a two-point lead. Florida began to pull away late, courtesy of Jaeckel's serve. A Ferrell overpass kill put the Gators ahead, 23-22 and forced a Tiger timeout. Auburn found their way back and tied the set at 24-24 with a block by Kathia Rud. A Kelly Fidero kill gave the Tigers a set point at 25-24 but Murphy slammed one to tie things up at 25-25. An Auburn hitting error gave the Gators match point and forced Auburn to take their second timeout of the set. Jaeckel slammed the overpass to give Florida the set and the match, 28-26.

Florida has one regular season match to go, as the Gators host travel partner South Carolina on Wednesday, November 23rd at 7 p.m. The radio broadcast for the match between the Gators and the Gamecocks will air live on Sportsradio 850 with Tom Collett and Missy Whittemore on the call.

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