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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Apparently, Kelly Murphy has her fellow freshman to thank for her recent string of triple-doubles.

UF coach Mary Wise said Monday setter Cindy Bathelt has been a major factor in Murphy's success.

"Part of it is Kelly, but part of it is definitely Cindy," Wise said. "It's very interconnected."

Wise said the big numbers Murphy has put up in recent weeks are due to the development of her partnership with Bathelt.

"We knew that in time that the Cindy Bathelt-Kelly Murphy connection would develop through experience," Wise said. "We thought that those were numbers that Kelly could put up."

What makes the pair's numbers this season even more impressive is the fact that they have only been playing together for a few months.

"Cindy and Kelly had not even met each other before they showed up for two-a-days (before the fall semester)," Wise said.

Wise said both players would have benefited from playing with someone older, but added that, because they are developing at the same rate, their partnership has come together faster than expected.

With all of Murphy's recent success - she was named the national player of the week after recording her first triple-double against Arkansas - it would be easy for her to get caught up in all the admiration.

But Wise made it clear that one player's success was something that the entire team could be proud of.

"We addressed to the team that when Kelly won the National Player of the Week that it's an award that is reflective of the play of the entire team," Wise said.

EXPECT MORE ANDERSON: Wise continues to be impressed with the play of freshman middle blocker Cassandra Anderson.

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"Cassandra has to play," Wise said. "She's faster. She jumps better. She brings an offensive look that neither Kelsey (Bowers) nor Kristina (Johnson) have."

Wise was surprised with how well the inexperienced Anderson performed on the road in a hostile environment over the weekend against Mississippi State.

"We threw her into the fire on Sunday, and she performed," Wise said. "I fully expect that Cassandra will continue to see more and more playing time."

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