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Niki Hartley

Friday September 15, 2000Volleyball Sweeps Florida Atlantic

Gainesville, FL

Niki Hartley

The 12th-ranked Florida Gator volleyball team swept instate-rival Florida Atlantic 15-0, 15-9, 15-13 to advance to play No. 8 Pepperdine in the championship game of its University Hotel & Conference Center Invitational at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Friday night.

Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) led UF (6-2) to its sixth straight win with a career-high 20 kills. The junior outside hitter only committed two errors on 37 attempts for a season-high .486 hitting efficiency.

Tenth-year Coach Mary Wise admitted it was part of UF's game plan that helped Hartley post such numbers. "We felt with their type of defense we could be successful on the outside. There are a lot of players that come through this program and never get 20 kills in three games."

UF dominated Game 1, shutting out FAU (3-8) with a .545 offensive production, which only allowed two side outs for FAU. But, the Owls played harder on defense throughout the rest of the match. They recorded 39 of their 42 digs in games 2 and 3.

"It was an endurance match for us," Wise said. "The first game came awfully easy. In games 2 and 3, Florida Atlantic passed very well and worked very hard. (They) did a really nice job."

Nevertheless, the Gators averaged a season-high .318 hitting efficiency. Senior Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) helped with 10 kills and 12 digs for her second double-double this year. Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) also had 10 kills.

Pepperdine (8-0) outlasted Wake Forest (7-1) 11-15, 15-5, 13-15, 15-6, 15-10 in the early match. The Gators play the Waves in the championship match Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Sunshine Network will telecast it taped delay at 10:30 p.m. Wake Forest and FAU will vie for third place at 5 p.m.

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