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Season ends for Wise’s Gators

Written by gcstaff, December 12, 2008, 0 Comments,
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Florida volleyball team ran into a talented Stanford squad Friday night and couldn’t overcome the Cardinal’s depth.

No. 2 Stanford had three players score 10 or more points, led by Foluke Akinradewo’s match-high 18 points, in a 25-14, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the No. 11 Gators in the regional semifinals at Colorado State University’s Moby Arena.

Florida, which had a team-high eight kills on .385 hitting from sophomore middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe, concluded its 2008 season at 27-4 after advancing to the NCAA regional semifinals for the 17th time in 18 seasons. Stanford (29-3) advanced to meet Hawaii for the regional championship and a berth in next week’s NCAA national semifinals at Omaha, Neb.

“When we’re playing a team like Stanford, there is so little margin for error,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “I thought our team competed hard and we got better as the match went along. We were right there at the end of sets two and three, we just didn’t have an answer for Foluke.”

Freshman right-side/setter Kelly Murphy and sophomore outside hitter Callie Rivers each had six kills in the match. Murphy added a team-high 15 assists with six digs, while Rivers tallied eight digs.

“This match will only help us next year and down the road,” Wise said. “We started five freshmen and there’s nothing we can do in practice to simulate this environment and that talent. This provided us the opportunity to have played against the best and to recognize the gap and what we have to do to narrow it down the road. This team will be able to build on this experience.”

Junior libero Elyse Cusack led the defensive effort with 16 digs and had two service aces, while senior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers had a team-high four blocks. Bowers finished her collegiate career in sixth place all-time on Florida’s career blocks list with 426, surpassing former Gator Heather Wright (1997-00) on Friday evening.

Bowers and fellow senior Christina Diaz end their careers with a 119-13 record, four NCAA “Sweet 16” appearances and four Southeastern Conference titles.

NCAA WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

DIVISION I

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

PENN STATE REGIONAL

At State College, Pa.

Friday, Dec. 12


(8) California 3, (9) Illinois 0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-22)

(1) Penn State 3, Western Michigan 0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-19)

WASHINGTON REGIONAL

At Seattle, Wash.

Friday, Dec. 12


(4) Nebraska 3, Michigan 0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-18)

(5) Washington 3, (12) Utah 0 (25-16, 26-20, 25-16)

TEXAS REGIONAL

At Austin, Texas

Friday, Dec. 12


Iowa State 3, (11) Oregon 2 (17-25, 11-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-8)

(3) Texas 3, (14) UCLA 1 (25-11, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21)

COLORADO STATE REGIONAL

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Friday, Dec. 12


(7) Hawaii 3, (10) Purdue 1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20)

(2) Stanford 3, (15) Florida 0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-21)

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

PENN STATE REGIONAL

At State College, Pa.

Saturday, Dec. 13


(1) Penn State (35-0) vs. (8) California (26-6), 4 p.m. (ESPNU)

WASHINGTON REGIONAL

At Seattle, Wash.

Saturday, Dec. 13


(5) Washington (27-4) vs. (4) Nebraska (30-2), 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

TEXAS REGIONAL

At Austin, Texas

Saturday, Dec. 13


(3) Texas (28-3) vs. Iowa State (22-12), 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

COLORADO STATE REGIONAL

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Saturday, Dec. 13


(7) Hawaii (31-3) vs. (2) Stanford (29-3), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

NATIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Omaha, Neb.

Thursday, Dec. 18


Penn State Regional winner vs. Washington Regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m. (ESPN2 or ESPNU)

Texas Regional winner vs. Colorado State Regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m. (ESPN2 or ESPNU)

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At Omaha, Neb.

Saturday, Dec. 20


Penn Stata Regional/Washington Regional winner vs. Texas Regional/Colorado State Regional winner, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Florida volleyball team ran into a talented Stanford squad Friday night and couldn’t overcome the Cardinal’s depth.

No. 2 Stanford had three players score 10 or more points, led by Foluke Akinradewo’s match-high 18 points, in a 25-14, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the No. 11 Gators in the regional semifinals at Colorado State University’s Moby Arena.

Florida, which had a team-high eight kills on .385 hitting from sophomore middle blocker Lauren Bledsoe, concluded its 2008 season at 27-4 after advancing to the NCAA regional semifinals for the 17th time in 18 seasons. Stanford (29-3) advanced to meet Hawaii for the regional championship and a berth in next week’s NCAA national semifinals at Omaha, Neb.

“When we’re playing a team like Stanford, there is so little margin for error,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “I thought our team competed hard and we got better as the match went along. We were right there at the end of sets two and three, we just didn’t have an answer for Foluke.”

Freshman right-side/setter Kelly Murphy and sophomore outside hitter Callie Rivers each had six kills in the match. Murphy added a team-high 15 assists with six digs, while Rivers tallied eight digs.

“This match will only help us next year and down the road,” Wise said. “We started five freshmen and there’s nothing we can do in practice to simulate this environment and that talent. This provided us the opportunity to have played against the best and to recognize the gap and what we have to do to narrow it down the road. This team will be able to build on this experience.”

Junior libero Elyse Cusack led the defensive effort with 16 digs and had two service aces, while senior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers had a team-high four blocks. Bowers finished her collegiate career in sixth place all-time on Florida’s career blocks list with 426, surpassing former Gator Heather Wright (1997-00) on Friday evening.

Bowers and fellow senior Christina Diaz end their careers with a 119-13 record, four NCAA “Sweet 16” appearances and four Southeastern Conference titles.

NCAA WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

DIVISION I

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

PENN STATE REGIONAL

At State College, Pa.

Friday, Dec. 12


(8) California 3, (9) Illinois 0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-22)

(1) Penn State 3, Western Michigan 0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-19)

WASHINGTON REGIONAL

At Seattle, Wash.

Friday, Dec. 12


(4) Nebraska 3, Michigan 0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-18)

(5) Washington 3, (12) Utah 0 (25-16, 26-20, 25-16)

TEXAS REGIONAL

At Austin, Texas

Friday, Dec. 12


Iowa State 3, (11) Oregon 2 (17-25, 11-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-8)

(3) Texas 3, (14) UCLA 1 (25-11, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21)

COLORADO STATE REGIONAL

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Friday, Dec. 12


(7) Hawaii 3, (10) Purdue 1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20)

(2) Stanford 3, (15) Florida 0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-21)

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

PENN STATE REGIONAL

At State College, Pa.

Saturday, Dec. 13


(1) Penn State (35-0) vs. (8) California (26-6), 4 p.m. (ESPNU)

WASHINGTON REGIONAL

At Seattle, Wash.

Saturday, Dec. 13


(5) Washington (27-4) vs. (4) Nebraska (30-2), 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

TEXAS REGIONAL

At Austin, Texas

Saturday, Dec. 13


(3) Texas (28-3) vs. Iowa State (22-12), 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

COLORADO STATE REGIONAL

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Saturday, Dec. 13


(7) Hawaii (31-3) vs. (2) Stanford (29-3), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

NATIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Omaha, Neb.

Thursday, Dec. 18


Penn State Regional winner vs. Washington Regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m. (ESPN2 or ESPNU)

Texas Regional winner vs. Colorado State Regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m. (ESPN2 or ESPNU)

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At Omaha, Neb.

Saturday, Dec. 20


Penn Stata Regional/Washington Regional winner vs. Texas Regional/Colorado State Regional winner, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

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