Florida Volleyball Weekend Recap

PALO ALTO, Calif. – The No. 7 Florida Gators volleyball team went 1-1 for the weekend in the Nike Big Four Classic Tournament after winning its first match Friday against No. 10 Texas in five sets, and falling to No. 3 Stanford in five sets on Saturday. The Gators’ record on the year is now 7-2.

On Friday, the Gators jumped out to a 1-0 match lead over the Longhorns as they finished off the first set, 25-22. The Longhorns came right back and took hold of the second set, defeating the Gators 25-20. After intermission, the Gators pounded the Longhorns to win, 25-13. The Longhorns took the fourth set, 25-21, to force the fifth and final set.  The Gators won the fifth and deciding set 15-13 as Murphy’s kill sealed the win for them.

Florida outhit Texas, .210 to .164 and had 20 more digs for the night. The score was tied 27 times throughout the night with 11 of those ties, being in just the second set alone. There were also nine lead changes throughout the five sets.

Senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel led the Gators with a double-double as she had a team-high of 15 kills and 17 digs. Senior setter/right-side hitter, Kelly Murphy also had a double- double with 12 kills and 30 assists with nine digs. Junior right-side Tangerine Wiggs had 13 kills and three blocks while senior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson had 11 kills, five digs and two blocks. Junior middle blocker Betsy Smith had a career-high of eight blocks to lead the Gators overall in that category and added in five kills.

Freshman libero Taylor Unroe had a career-high 20 digs while freshman defensive specialist Madison Monserez had eight digs. Sophomore setter Chanel Brown added in 24 assists and nine digs for the Gators as well.

Stanford had defeated Penn State in four sets on Friday to set up Saturday’s matchup where the Gators fell behind early as Stanford took a 2-0-match lead, 25-17 and 25-20. However, the Gators made a comeback after intermission taking the next two sets, 25-20 and 25-21. The fifth set was won by Stanford, 15-13 as the Gators had three consecutive hitting errors giving Stanford the set and match win.

Senior Kelly Murphy had a triple-double with 14 kills, 29 assists and 10 digs.  Senior Kristy Jaeckel another double-double as she had 20 kills and 16 digs. Junior Tangerine Wiggs continues her high performance game play with a new career high of 18 kills. Senior Stephanie Ferrell added in six kills and five digs for the Gators.

Freshman libero Taylor Unroe had a career-high of 22 digs, while sophomore setter Chanel Brown had 28 assists and six digs.

The score was tied 17 times, with seven of the ties being in the last set. There were 11 lead changes throughout the five sets, 8 of those being in the finals two.

Florida outplayed Stanford in several categories including hitting percentage, blocks and kills, however, the Gators had 47 errors, which they couldn’t overcompensate for.

Seniors Kristy Jaeckel and Kelly Murphy were selected to the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic All-Tournament Team.

The Gators’ next game is on the road Friday against Mississippi State in Starkville at 8 p.m.