No. 12 Gators Power Past State In Straight Sets
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Bulldog freshman outside hitter Taylor Scott tallied a match-high , but Sunday proved to be an all-Gator type of day otherwise as 12th-ranked Florida (11-2, 5-0 SEC) unleashed an impressive straight-sets win (25-14, 25-9, 25-18) over Mississippi State (4-10, 0-5 SEC) at the Newell-Grissom Building.
Nine Gator players combined for 48 kills, led by Tangerine Wiggs' nine-kill performance. Florida, the only remaining SEC team unbeaten in league play, hit .342 for the match and limited State to a season-low .064
Florida thundered to 25-14 and 25-9 wins to open the match and never trailed in taking a 2-0 lead at the promotional break.
"We told our players (at the break) there is a reason that Florida is ranked 12th in the nation, but that we can't let that cause us to stop executing our game plan. We had great practices all week and even in our hitting before the match today, but it seemed like once the match got started we got away from our game plan. We did a much better job of execution in the third set. Hopefully it's another lesson learned by our young team."
UF bolted to an 8-1 lead and hit at a .472 clip in the opening set and parlayed an 11-0 run into a 16-2 lead to begin the second set.
Back from the break, freshman Katie Enright opened the third frame with an ace that gave MSU its first lead of the afternoon. And though Florida pulled away from a 6-6 deadlock to lead 22-10, the Bulldogs finished with a run before bowing 25-18.
"Florida's middles took away a lot of the court and they played solid defense around that," said Hazelwood.
Scott, with 10 kills, reached double figures in kills for the fourth time in five SEC matches. Sophomore Lainey Wyman finished with five kills and two blocks while Chanelle Baker chipped in four kills and nine digs.
Florida won the defensive battle with a 56-46 edge in digs, with UF's Taylor Unroe carding a match-best 19 scoops.
State freshman Roxanne McVey, who registered an SEC-record 50 digs in Friday's five-set thriller with LSU, finished with a team-leading 15 digs against Florida.
State closed out its September schedule with a 2-8 mark and will played six of its eight October matches on the road. The Bulldogs travel to Auburn, Ala., for a 6:30 p.m. match Friday and then venture on to College Station, Texas, for a program-first match Sunday with SEC newcomer Texas A&M. The Sunday match will be televised by SportSouth.