Gators sweep Auburn volleyball

The No.13 Florida Gators swept the Auburn Tigers in their fourth Southeastern Conference game, improving their record to 3-1 in conference play and 10-3 overall.

The three-set sweep consisted the scores of 26-24, 25-20 and 25-23 as the Gators outhit Auburn .269 to .184.

The Tigers dropped to 8-7 for the season and 2-3 in conference matches.

The match was supposed to take place in Auburn’s new arena but due to unforeseen facility issues, the game was played in the Student Activities Center.

Led by the team’s senior leadership, the Gators swept their eighth opponent this season.

Senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel led with a match-high 15 kills and added a service ace. Senior outside hitter Stephanie Ferrell followed right behind Jaeckel with 14 kills.

Ferrell only had one error the entire match and earned a .542 hitting percentage. Jaeckel hit her highest percentage in the season with .400. Senior middle blocker Cassandra Anderson added seven kills and a service ace.

Lowe’s CLASS candidate senior setter and right-side hitter Kelly Murphy had a team-high of 20 assists and redshirt freshman Taylor Unroe led the defense with nine digs and chipped in a team-high of two aces.

The first set was close until Anderson was at the service line for six straight points. This put the Gators at a three-point advantage over the Tigers and set point, 24-21. Auburn held off Florida for three consecutive set points to tie the set up at 24 even. Junior right side hitter Tangerine Wiggs came up big for the Gators as her kill put Florida up 25-24. Auburn then mishandled the ball to give the Gators the first set.

The second set was easier on the Gators as they hold the lead from start to finish. The Gators lead by as much as six points before Florida closed out the second set, 25-20.

The Tigers ignited out of intermission as they held the lead for most of the third set. It wasn’t until late in the third that the Gators made a comeback on a 6-3 run to tie the set at 20-20. Auburn then grabbed the lead again going up two points until a kill by Jaeckel helped the Gators tie it up once more at 22 apiece. The Gators took control as Unroe earned one of her two aces in the last three points of the match. Ferrell earned the kill to win the match for Florida, 25-23. 

Leading the Auburn Tigers was senior Kelly Fidero with 11 kills and sophomore Chelsea Wintzinger earning 27 assists. Sophomore Vesela Zapryanova chipped in eight kills for the Tigers. Junior libero Mackenzy Harper led the match with 11 digs, earning her sixth double double on the year.

The Gators play their longest-standing rivals, Georgia on Sunday at 1:30 p.m in the Bulldogs’ arena. Gators fans can catch all of the live action between Florida and the Bulldogs by tuning into Country 103.7 FM for full coverage.