Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Amid the buzz of a presidential debate and football upset, the Gators found a way to leave their mark on Oxford, Miss.

Unlike the political happenings Friday night, UF's (10-1, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) 3-1 (22-25, 25-12, 25-20, 25-20) win at Mississippi provided more answers than questions.

What did the No.10 Gators learn?

Well, for starters, Kelly Murphy might be one of the best freshmen to ever step onto the volleyball court in Gainesville.

After registering the first triple-double of her career in UF's 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-21) sweep at Arkansas on Friday, Murphy nearly did it again Sunday, coming within one dig of catching lightning in a bottle for the second time.

"I'm going to be all over Kelly Murphy," UF coach Mary Wise said. "She missed two easy digs. If she gets one of those two, we're looking at her second triple-double."

The freshman setter hit, passed and dug her way into the record books Friday, becoming only the second player in school history to achieve the mark. The only other Gator to accomplish the feat is former All-American Angie McGinnis, who notched four during her time at UF.

Second, the Gators learned this young team might be good sooner rather than later.

Wise said her freshman-laden team is finally starting to mature.

Despite dropping the first set to the Rebels (6-6, 2-1 SEC), they battled back to win in straight sets.

After the match, Wise admitted that she didn't expect her team to have as much trouble as it did out of the gate.

"I didn't think Game 1 would be as close as it was," she said. "We had to work our tails off to win this."

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Callie Rivers discovered long road trips might not agree with her.

Rivers, who hardly played in the team's last few matches, started for the Gators on Sunday against the Rebels.

Unfortunately, she wouldn't finish.

She left the court after becoming ill during the first set.

Wise attributed the illness to the team's 13-hour day of travel Saturday.

"It's tough because I thought that this was going to be a really good match for her," Wise said. "I don't think that is anything serious though."

Third, they learned Kristina Johnson is starting to feel like herself again.

Throughout the match, the junior flashed the athleticism she became known for last season - even blasting a highlight-worthy kill and subsequent fist pump during the fourth set.

"She ripped that ball," Wise said.

Finally, they learned that, if provoked, Wise will express her displeasure to a referee.

After watching Mississippi middle blocker Regina Thomas (14 kills) redirect balls going over the net for most of the match, she informed referees Rick Welch and Arleen Hughes of her interpretation of the rule.

"I am obviously not versed up with the rule," Wise said after the match. "If you allow that to become legal, that's indefensible. I'm not sure that's in the best interest of women's volleyball."

A radio broadcast contributed to this report.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.