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Friday, May 24, 2024

The Gators showed why they deserve to be ranked as the top team in the country.

No. 1 Florida (15-1, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) easily defeated Auburn 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-22) on Friday night in the O’Connell Center.

The match marked UF’s fourth consecutive sweep and the Gators now lead the Tigers 35-1 in the all-time series.

Junior setter Kelly Murphy set herself apart from the other players as the Gators continued to set themselves apart from their opponents. Murphy hit .583 and recorded a match-high 15 kills, 13 assists and 12 digs. The performance was good enough for her fifth triple-double on the season — the most in the nation.

“You can’t talk about this match without talking about Kelly Murphy because of how really special she was today,” coach Mary Wise said. “She showed great offensive patience and used all parts of the court to get her kills. She's got terrific court vision.”

Murphy also had two blocks — one of which was her 1,000th point in her career.

"I feel like we played pretty well, that we were consistent up until the third set,” Murphy said. “I thought we did a good job, especially on defense. We had good block touches and I thought that we had some good scramble plays where we would go all over the place."

After the Gators hit .367 in the first set, they fell to .286 in the second and .167 in the third to hit .250 on the match. That was all they would need after holding the Tigers (14-7, 5-4 SEC) to a hitting percentage of just .087.

Freshman setter Chanel Brown had a match-high 22 assists, senior libero Erin Fleming had a match-high 13 digs and junior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson had a match-high four blocks.

One point of concern for the Gators on Friday was serving. The team had 14 service errors while recording only four service aces.

“This was not our best serving performance,” Wise said. It’s something that we will address tomorrow in practice and try to be better at on Sunday.”

Florida will take on rival Georgia on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the O’Connell Center.

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