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Tuesday, December 05, 2023

When the UF volleyball team visited Georgia on Sunday, it was more like coming home.

An unusually large number of Gators fans witnessed UF's sweep of Georgia (30-19, 30-23, 30-17), in which the road team dominated every category of the match.

"It was unexpected," UF coach Mary Wise said of the fan turnout. "This is as good a number as we've ever had on the road. … They were vocal.

"They made it tough on Georgia. I wish that group could travel with us all the time."

UF also beat Auburn 3-1 (30-24, 29-31, 30-17, 30-20) Friday night.

The No. 10 Gators (18-1, 11-1 Southeastern Conference) had few problems handling Georgia and ended the match in the third game when junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers smashed the ball down for a kill.

But the match was effectively wrapped up late in game three when UF won a long rally.

At every chance to steal a point, Georgia saw its opportunity snatched by the Gators.

"I saw Angie McGinnis lay out for a ball, I saw Kisya Killingsworth lay out for a ball, Elyse Cusack like three times in the same rally laid out for a ball," Wise said.

Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton finished with a match-high 20 kills. Bowers and fellow middle blocker Killingsworth each chipped in for nine.

Friday night saw well-rounded play for UF, but the highlights belonged to Bowers.

She set new career-highs, tallying 17 kills - six in game one - and six digs on the night. She also had seven block assists.

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"She's just so good, and that really allows us to use our foot speed," Wise said. "I really love the play of Kelsey Bowers. I mean, 17 kills, seven blocks, she played unbelievably hard tonight."

Bowers played most of the match because Killingsworth did not compete until the end of game two. When Killingsworth did come in, she made an impact.

In playing just over two games, Killingsworth had 10 kills, two block assists and a solo block.

"I'm very pleased with how Kisya played coming in off the bench," Wise said. "It seemed like every time she went across the front row, Elyse Cusack nailed the pass."

Radio broadcasts contributed to this report.

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