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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Four days after winning their 19th match in a row against the Seminoles, the Gators extended an even longer streak of dominance on Sunday.

This time, conference foe Ole Miss was the victim.

No. 3 Florida (10-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) easily took care of Ole Miss (9-4, 3-1) in straight sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-19) inside the O’Connell Center.

The Gators have now beaten the Rebels 32 times in a row. Out of the 37 all-time wins Florida has against Ole Miss, 32 have been in straight sets.

Despite the lopsided streak, UF coach Mary Wise stressed that it was no sure thing her squad would come out on top.

“To beat a team 3-0 that had won seven straight (and was) undefeated in the SEC, I think that speaks really well for our production,” Wise said. “Probably the best side of the ball was the offense.”

The Gators had only seven attack errors on 85 total attacks, leading to a .388 team hitting average. Ole Miss, on the other hand, had 19 errors on 100 total attacks and hit just .140.

“That’s pretty stellar offense,” Wise said. “The numbers were terrific.”

Middle blocker Cassandra Anderson had her third straight match without an attack error, recording seven kills to go along with three blocks.

After hitting .700 on Sunday, Anderson is hitting .641 during her errorless streak.

Setter Kelly Murphy had six kills, 18 assists and 5 digs, ending her triple-double streak at two games.

However, the Gators did not need to rely on Murphy as they were able to spread the offensive production around, having five players finish in double-digits for total attacks.

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Opposite hitter Tangerine Wiggs had another big game for UF, hitting .562 with nine kills.

She also recorded two digs and two blocks, and she was quick to deflect praise to her teammates.

“It’s a lot of the work from the people you don’t see, like [Erin Fleming] getting great digs to us, [Kristy Jaeckel] and [Callie Rivers] really working hard to play defense and Murph putting up hittable balls for me,” Wiggs said. “It looks good on paper, but I know that it’s definitely a lot of the work of other people on our team.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Gators had a season-low seven total blocks.

Rivers led the team with 10 digs, and Lauren Bledsoe led with four blocks, two areas where Wise felt Florida was lacking.

“Ole Miss is very good about using all parts of the court,” Wise said. “The numbers weren’t as good as we’d like them to be — we left a lot of digs out there and maybe some blocks.”

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