Volleyball Eliminated By #7 Florida
Dec. 1, 2006
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Sun Devil volleyball team certainly had a memorable 2006 season, but it finally came to an end Friday night in Gainesville. The seventh ranked Florida Gators beat the Devils 3-1 in the O'Connell Center to eliminate Arizona State from the NCAA Tournament. The Devils finished the season with a 16-15 record, 7-11 in the Pac-10. The 16 wins is double their 2005 output and the tournament appearance was the first since 2002.
The #7 Gators protected their home floor in the opening game, as they led from the outset on the way to a 30-17 victory. Florida hit an unconscious .421 while ASU hit only .116. The Devils had eight attack errors and four service errors which led to their downfall in the opening game.
The Devils played much better in game two, holding a lead for most of the game. But a late Gator rally, fueled by some costly attack errors by ASU, was too much to overcome, as Florida took a 2-0 lead on the strength of a 30-27 lead. Arizona State held a 26-20 edge, but the Gators scored ten of the final eleven points to pick up the second game.
Arizona State bounced back in the third game, as they were able to hold off a late Florida charge to win 30-26. Nicole Morton stepped up, recording eight kills and hitting .444. They hit .298 in the third game, their highest hitting percentage of the evening.
The Gators would overwhelm the Devils in game four, winning the game 30-23 and the match 3-1. Florida now advances to the third round, where they will host the Gainesville Regional.
ASU was led by the 14 kills of both Nina Reeves and Nicole Morton. The Devils finished the match with a .212 hitting percentage compared to the .310 of Florida. Sydney Donahue added 23 digs in the loss. This was the final match for seniors Nicole Morton, Nina Reeves and Tierra Burnley.