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Thursday, April 18, 2024

UF sweeps UNLV to end regular season, will face FAMU in NCAA first round

With the conference title all wrapped up, UF headed west to play its final match of the regular season on Saturday.

The Gators traveled to Las Vegas to take on UNLV (16-14) and came away with a sweep (25-18, 25-23, 25-21) behind freshman setter Kelly Murphy.

In only three sets, Murphy became the first player in UF history to log back-to-back triple-doubles.

On Wednesday, the first-year Gator broke the career triple-double record set by former setter Angie McGinnis when she recorded her fifth such performance against South Carolina.

Saturday, Murphy added to her record with a 13-kill, 17-assist, 15-dig line - the 15 digs are a new career high.

Though Murphy's effort clearly set the tone for her team, she wasn't the only one producing on the offensive end.

UF (25-3) spread the ball around, and freshmen Kristy Jaeckel and Cassandra Anderson each added eight kills.

"Tonight's match was a win where we got production out of everyone," UF coach Mary Wise said. "The fact that we had five players at 20-plus swings shows that we gave ourselves a lot of options tonight."

Sophomore Lauren Bledsoe contributed seven kills on just 11 swings, and the Gators outhit the Rebels .230 to .129 as a team.

After disposing of UNLV, UF headed back to Gainesville to watch the NCAA Tournament selection show on ESPNU on Sunday night.

The Gators found out they will host opening-round play, with their first match coming against Florida A&M (14-12) on Friday night.

"FAMU is a team that is used to winning and is used to being in the

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tournament," Wise said. "We have run into them often in the past and

know that every team that makes the NCAA Tournament is coming off of a

great season."

During the regular season, the Gators and Rattlers shared two common opponents, FSU and Long Beach State.

UF swept FSU on the road and narrowly defeated LBSU at home, while FAMU lost both non-conference matches.

If the Gators defeat the Rattlers, they play the winner of Florida International and Colorado State, who beat UF in Colorado earlier this season.

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