Hartmann's Double-Double Not Enough to Stave Off No. 6 Florida
Sept. 23, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Despite the first double-double of the season and a career-high kill output from junior Christine Hartmann, the sixth-ranked Florida Gators halted Kentucky's nine-match winning streak with a 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18) victory Friday in Gainesville, Fla.
Hartmann charted a career-high seven kills and added 37 assists and 10 digs for UK. The double-double was the first of the season for the junior and the ninth of her career.
Kentucky drops to 11-3 on the season and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference action. No. 6 Florida improves to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in league play.
"You have to give it to Florida because if they play like that all year long they're going to be very hard to beat," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "We gave ourselves a shot by winning game three, but we did not compete the way we needed to at the end of game four. We had some people step up tonight, but we need to step up as a collective group to beat a good team like Florida."
Florida posted a .417 hitting percentage and racked up 53 kills on the night. UK charted 52 hammers with a .284 hitting clip.
Senior Becky Pavan and sophomore Whitney Billings both charted 13 kills to lead the offensive performance for the Blue and White. The kill effort was a season-high for Billings. Junior Ashley Frazier added seven kills and senior Ann Armes posted six. Armes and freshman Lauren O'Conner led the way at the net with a pair of blocks each.
Junior Stephanie Klefot posted 12 digs for the match and was joined in double-figures by Hartmann's 10.
Pavan led the way in the third set for the Wildcats with six kills to lift UK to a 25-23 third set victory. Kentucky tossed down a match-high 18 kills on a blazing .500 hitting percentage to force the match into extra frames.
Armes opened the scoring with a kill in the third stanza, but Florida responded with three straight points to earn the early edge. Kentucky recaptured the lead at 15-13 following kills from Pavan and Billings. A kill from Pavan gave the Blue and White its largest lead at 20-16. The Gators got back to within one at 24-23, but Pavan came up with the set-clinching kill for the visitors.
Florida grabbed an early 2-0 edge to begin the first frame, but the Wildcats' offense rallied back with consecutive kills from Giesler and Armes to knot the score at two apiece. The Gators then used a 7-3 run to move ahead 10-5 and UK could not get any closer. The Gators posted a .560 hitting clip in the opening stanza and charted 16 kills in the frame. UK managed nine kills on .318 hitting with four different players totaling two kills each.
The home squad earned a 2-0 lead into the locker room following a second set 25-19 score. Florida totaled 13 kills on .321 hitting, while Kentucky notched 11 hammers on .172 hitting in the frame.
Billings opened the second set with a kill to give the visitor's the early advantage. After Florida gained an advantage it was Billings who once again came up with a play to tie the score at 12. The sophomore charted back-to-back service aces to tie the score. Florida responded with a run of its own to go ahead 19-14. Armes' led a late charge with a kill and then helped force the Gators into consecutive hitting errors to bring the score to within two at 19-17. Following a Gator timeout, the home team ran off six of the final eight points to capture the stanza.
Florida scored the first three points of the fourth set and never trailed as the home team staved off an inspired UK squad in the final set for a 25-18 win. Kentucky pulled to within two at 16-14 following a kill from Billings. Florida reclaimed a comfortable edge at 19-14, but the Blue and White would not go away. A kill from Pavan pulled UK back to within five, but Florida capped the set on a 3-1 run for the final margin.
Kentucky charted a .171 hitting clip with 14 kills in the final set, while Florida posted 12 hammers on .400 hitting. The Gators benefited from eight hitting errors and a trio of service errors from the Blue and White.
UK will remain on the road for a matchup with SEC East rival South Carolina on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 9-10. UK is one of four sites selected for Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, from the Lexington Region. Tickets are on sale now through the UK Ticket Office.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK volleyball team and all of Kentucky's 22 teams.