No. 9 Florida held in-state rival No. 25 Florida State to a hitting percentage of just .137, overcoming large deficits in the second and third sets to defeat the Seminoles 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-22), in front of a crowd of 4,631 fans, including a record 1,901 students, at the O’Connell Center on Tuesday night.
“Our students have been doing a really good job of showing up,” senior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy said. “We have never had fans like this, especially in the beginning of the season. When we were down and started coming back, it was really the crowd that was pushing us. They really just give us that extra little bit of energy that you need.”
The Gators did not allow the Seminoles to win more than two points in a row in the first set. Florida then bounced back from a 9-1 deficit in the second set and trailed 13-6 in the third set, as the comeback kids did it again, pulling out 25-22 victories against Florida State in both sets.
It was the Gators’ third consecutive three-set victory of 2011, opening the season with nine consecutive set wins. It was Florida’s 21st consecutive victory against the Seminoles and 20th in a row in Gainesville.
Florida is now 35-16 all-time against FSU and 28-2 under Florida head coach Mary Wise.
Murphy led the way for the Gators, notching her program-record 23rd triple-double, with 12 kills, 17 assists and 10 digs. Cassandra Anderson recorded eight kills, Stephanie Ferrell and Tangerine Wiggs each tallied seven kills, and Kristy Jaeckel added six more.
Chanel Brown led the team in assists, notching 17, and Taylor Unroe held down the defense with 15 digs.