In the Gators’ first game of Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, they swept the Jacksonville Dolphins in three games: 25-20, 25-15 and 25-6, continuing the Gators’ three-game sweep winning streak to four games in their undefeated season.
Led by junior Betsy Smith, Florida’s outside hitters moved the ball around, enabling eight different players to obtain kills. Smith totaled six kills, while seniors Kristy Jaeckel, Kelly Murphy and junior Tangerine Wiggs added five each.
Even with the variety of players that had kills, Florida head coach Mary Wise focuses on the overall outlook of her team’s performance.
“Nothing spectacular in terms of performance today,” Wise said. But there were moments. There were moments of improvement and that’s key.”
In the first set, it was a battle back and forth between the two teams. The Gators went up 14-9 and that was when the momentum started to shift their way even more. Jaeckel and Ferrell’s kills kept the Gators’ lead in check and a huge block by Murphy gave the Gators the biggest lead of the 1st set at 20-13.
Murphy and Ferrell came up with two big kills to make the set 23-15. When it was set point for the Gators, a fight erupted in the Dolphins as they went on a 5-0 run closing down on the Gators. A service error on Jacksonville though gave the Gators their final point to win the 1st set.
The start of the second set was a battle with seven ties until the Gators pulled ahead on a 15-12 lead. They kept that lead for the rest of the set as the Dolphins seemed to be stuck in a slump and got their 13th point with the score after the Gators already reached 20 for the set. Jacksonville only earned two more points in the set as the Gators finished off 25-15.
The third set was the quickest set for the Gators to close out on as the Dolphins only earned six points in the entire set.
The Gators next game in the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational is against the Florida Atlantic University Owls tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the O’Connell Center.
Wise said having to play a double header was something the players would be more content with than she was.
“From a player’s stand point, this is nothing,” she said. “They enjoy this. For a coach, it is a little more labor intensive.”