UF volleyball earns right to host regional

Florida's Chloe Mann leaps as the Gators score a point against Northern Iowa in their NCAA match on Saturday. (Photo by Matthew Putney/The Waterloo Courier)

Published: Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 12:22 a.m.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The senior trio of Stephanie Ferrell, Kristy Jaeckel and Kelly Murphy put the No. 17 Gator volleyball team on their backs and back in Gainesville, as Florida reached the regional semifinals by defeating No. 6 seed UNI, 3-1 (16-25, 25-14, 25-14, 25-22), in NCAA second-round action.

The Gators punched their ticket to the Gainesville regional on Saturday, holding UNI to its lowest hitting percentage (.187) since Oct. 14 against Drake (.168) and Sept. 10 against Minnesota (.100), with the loss against the Golden Gophers as UNI's lone defeat of the regular season.

The Gators have reached the regional semifinals in 20 of the last 21 years. This is the first time in program history that Florida has reached the regional semifinal as an unseeded team.

Murphy paced Florida by notching her 74th career double-double with 15 kills and 20 assists, narrowly missing a triple-double with nine digs. Jaeckel registered 13 kills, five blocks, five digs and four service aces, with all of those aces coming in the second stanza.

Ferrell had one of her most consistent matches of the season, recording nine kills and two blocks for 10.0 points against the Panthers.

Redshirt freshman libero Taylor Unroe led all players with 16 digs on the evening to go along with three assists and two service aces.

The Gators will take on Michigan, a 3-1 set winner over No. 11 seed Stanford Saturday night.

Illinois, the No. 3 seed, and Ohio State have already punched their tickets to the Gainesville regional.

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