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Friday September 1, 2000Volleyball Sweeps Two Matches In Tournament

Gainesville, FL

Niki Hartley

The ninth-ranked University of Florida Volleyball team swept UNLV (15-2, 15-8, 15-5) and Ball State (15-4, 15-13, 15-5) in the first two rounds of its own SunTrust Invitational Friday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) posted a career-high 20 kills against Ball State (0-2) and also had double-digit kills with 11 vs. UNLV (0-2). She had only four errors on 30 swings for a match-high .533 hitting efficiency. UF Coach Mary Wise was impressed with her middle blocker's performance. "For us to be successful, we knew Nicole would have to carry a load. But, we didn't expect a phenomenal night like this (to have 20 kills in three games).

McCray's seven kills in game two verse the Cardinals helped UF (2-2) come back from a game-long deficit to tie it at 13 a piece. Then, she put up a solo block for the go-ahead point.

Sophomore Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) and senior Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) also recorded double-digit kills against BSU. Hartley had 11, while Hattendorf recorded her first double-double on the year with 10 kills and 10 digs.

The Gator defense held BSU to a .098 attack percentage with 13 blocks and 55 digs. Freshman Benavia Jenkins (Ft. Pierce, Fla./John Carroll) led all players with eight roofs. BSU had just four blocks and 48 digs.

In the early match against UNLV, UF's offense produced a season-high .315 hitting efficiency, led by McCray's 11 kills and freshman Jacque Robinson's (Merced, Calif./Golden Valley) .700 attack percentage. Robinson was perfect with seven kills on 10 attempts.

"I thought (the match vs. UNLV) was solid," Wise said. "It might have been the prettiest match, but that's typical of an early-season match."

UNLV fell to No. 16 Wisconsin 15-5, 15-0 and 15-1. The Badgers (2-0) also swept BSU 15-10, 15-4, 15-8.

BSU and UNLV square off at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, while UF and UW will play at 3:30 p.m. for the championship.

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