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Kris Bova

Sunday September 10, 2000Volleyball Wins Cal Tournament

BERKELEY, Calif.

Kris Bova

The 12th-ranked University of Florida volleyball team defeated host Cal 15-13, 15-12, 15-17, 15-1 to win the inaugural Golden Bear Classic at the Rec Sports Field House Saturday night.

The Gators (5-2) have now won five straight matches. Cal (3-2) broke UF’s 14-game win streak with its third-game victory.

Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) led all hitters with a career-high 22 kills and was named the tournament MVP. It was the second straight tournament she captured that honor. The middle blocker was also in on eight roofs, helping UF to a season-high 15 and a half team blocks.

Outside hitter Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) and setter Kris Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior) were named to the all-tournament team. Hartley posted her fourth double-double on the year with 10 kills and 13 digs. Bova notched her second such performance with 54 assists and 12 digs.

UF fought back from two early Cal leads in Game 1. Freshman Jacque Robinson (Merced, Calif./Golden Valley) put the Gators ahead 9-8 with two kills. The Bears tied it once more before UF closed the frame. In Game 2, the Gators went on a 14-5 run after initially training 7-1. McCray had four kills and three blocks in the go-ahead series after UF tied it at seven.

McCray led all hitters with a career-high 22 kills and was named the tournament MVP. It was the second straight tournament she captured that honor. Outside hitter Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) and setter Kris Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior) were named to the all-tournament team. Hartley posted her fourth double-double on the year with 10 kills and 13 digs.

The Gators weren’t as fortunate in the third game. UF looked to be on another comeback bid after being down 14-8. Cal failed at nine match points, but put up a block for the game-winner.

It only took UF eight minutes to put away Cal in the deciding game. For the first time in the tournament, UF jumped out to a sizeable lead, scoring 13 unanswered points.

George Washington (5-1) defeated McNeese State (3-3) 19-17, 14-16, 15-7, 15-8 in the consolation match earlier in the evening.

UF will hold the first UF Hotel and Conference Center Invitational Sept. 15-16 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators face off against Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. No. 9 Pepperdine and Wake Forest open the event in the first semifinal at 5 p.m.

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