CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Florida posted a 3-1 victory over the Missouri Tigers in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship Tournament on Friday night in the McLeod Center. Set scores were 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16.
The Gators were led by senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel with 19 kills. Teammate and fellow senior setter Kelly Murphy chipped in with 28 assists for Florida.
Missouri started the first set on a 6-1 run. Florida battled back, cutting the lead to two, 16-14, before Missouri stretched the lead to four at 19-15, going on to win the set, 23-25.
Senior middle blocker Brittney Brimmage led the Tiger offensive attack tallying five kills in the opening set. Florida recorded 17 kills in the first set to Missouri's 13. The Gators hit .279 in the opening set while the Tigers hit .278.
The second set went back and forth before Florida ripped off seven straight points on two kills from sophomore middle blocker Chloe Mann, a kill from senior outside hitter Stephanie Ferrell and Kristy Jaeckel, two Missouri attack errors, and a block by Chloe Mann and junior Tangerine Wiggs, pushing the lead to 18-10. Florida went on to win the set, 25-16.
Kelly Murphy tallied nine assists, four kills, and two service aces in the set for Florida. The Gators held Missouri to a .034 hitting percentage in the second set while posting a .375 mark of their own.
Florida started the third set on a 4-0 run and never looked back, taking the third set 25-20. Kristy Jaeckel posted six kills and two blocks in the set for the Gators. Florida posted a hitting percentage of .109 in the third set and limited Missouri's hitting percentage to .019.
The Gators started on a 6-1 run en route to a 25-16 fourth set and match clinching victory. Florida hit .324 in the set and held Missouri to a .000 hitting percentage.
Missouri (21-13) was led by sophomore outside hitter Lisa Henning with 16 kills in the match. Teammate and fellow sophomore Molly Kreklow recorded 32 assists for the Tigers.
Florida (25-5) advances to the second round of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship Tournament to face the No. 6-seeded University of Northern Iowa Panthers. First serve of the second round is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night in the McLeod Center.