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Friday, March 31, 2023

Before Friday night, it was debatable.

But now, it's a statement of fact.

Angie McGinnis is the best setter in UF volleyball history.

McGinnis broke the school record for assists when she set middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth for a kill in game one against Kentucky on Friday night. It was her 4,856th career assist, breaking former setter Heidi Anderson's 15-year-old record.

Killingsworth's strike may have gone long if left alone, but the ball grazed the fingertips of a back row Kentucky player and put the Gators up 28-19.

No. 6 UF (15-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) dominated Kentucky 3-0 (30-21, 30-26, 30-19) thanks to a powerful offensive performance led by McGinnis.

"I think that obviously you're not going to get as many assists if people aren't killing the ball," McGinnis said. "So that's one of those [records] that goes out to the whole team."

UF also swept Tennessee 3-0 (30-27, 30-18, 30-18) on Sunday afternoon.

Before the Tennessee match, Anderson made an appearance in Gainesville, presenting McGinnis with the ball that broke the record and a bouquet of flowers.

"I didn't even know she was coming until before (the match)," McGinnis said. "I had never met her, and I got introduced to her before the match, so that was pretty awesome."

That's when McGinnis went out to play, tallying 49 assists against the Volunteers.

Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton, who led the team with 16 kills and 10 digs for her 36th career double-double, said the home crowd helped with the win.

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"Having a crowd behind you really helps you out," she said. "I think that's where a lot of our energy came from tonight."

Redshirt freshman Janine Williams also had a huge game off the bench, proving the Gators' depth. She scored seven kills on only eight attacks.

"We have other players who can deliver, and today Janine Williams…hit the ball great for us," UF coach Mary Wise said. "It's a matter of taking advantage of when you have your chance."

As for the match against Kentucky, the result was also never in question.

Sophomore middle blocker Kristina Johnson got a block to end the third game and gave the Gators the win after Hampton had three straight service aces.

Senior opposite hitter Amber McCray tied her season-high with 18 kills and Hampton added another 17 on a night where the team hit .390.

But the big story Friday was McGinnis, who totaled 50 assists against Kentucky to break Anderson's record set in 1992.

McCray acknowledged that McGinnis makes her job as an attacker much easier.

"The girl is amazing," McCray said. "She's proven that since she came in her freshman year that she's going to be a star. She's really just worked hard every year to get even better every year, and that's just a testament to her work ethic and the type of player she is. I'm really happy for her."

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