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Friday, April 19, 2024

Gators make it look easy in sweeps of Mississippi, LSU

They are a 14-woman wrecking crew.

They don?t just get the job done. They win quickly and with ruthless efficiency.

The UF volleyball team swept through Mississippi (30-24, 30-23, 30-19) Sunday afternoon and demolished LSU (30-20, 30-17, 30-18) on Friday night.

With the victories, UF (20-1, 13-1 Southeastern Conference) is two matches ahead of Alabama for the SEC lead.

Mississippi started off fast in each of Sunday?s three games, but UF ended each game stronger.

BI think our team is really good about never letting up,C freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers said. BWe always try to fight back. We don?t really … get frustrated and worry about the score.C

The Rebels ended the match in game three when they served the ball into the net shortly after the Gators had gone on a 7-point run.

Instead of Marcie Hampton, Rivers sparked UF's offense for most of the match. She finished the match with a team-high 10 kills and 31 attacks, and she also chipped in two solo blocks.

BCallie had the hot hand,C UF coach Mary Wise said. BAngie (McGinnis) did a great job giving her lots of looks. … If we can win in three without Marcie having to take 20 more swings than anyone else, that?s good for today, but it?s also good for a month from today.C

Sophomore libero Elyse Cusack broke her own record for consecutive matches with 10 or more digs. Sunday was her 25th match in a row with double figures in that category.

She acknowledged it was a nice record to have, but said her father pays more attention to the numbers than she does.

BMy dad kind of told me that I was tied with myself,C Cusack said. BMy dad is really into it. He always reads the pregame notes, and that was in there.C

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Friday saw an even more lopsided contest.

UF closed out LSU in three quick games, besting the Tigers in kills, digs, assists, hitting percentage, blocks and service aces.

UF won the match on a double block from middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth and Rivers.

Rivers? play has greatly improved this team. She had eight kills and four block assists Friday night.

"The play of Callie Rivers I think is the best testament to how much better our team is,C Wise said. BCallie in the front row, Callie in the back row, the play she made where she laid out for a ball, her four block assists. I think the improvement of this team has a whole lot to do with Callie?s play.C

McGinnis was outstanding Friday night. She had 34 assists through two games and finished the night with a .800 hitting percentage - four kills on five attacks.

In game three, McGinnis made a diving set on a ball at her ankles. The ball flew into the air perfectly for Hampton to get a kill.

BThat?s just reps and playing for years,C McGinnis said. BIt teaches you to react quick in situations like that.C

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