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Senior Jerilyn Hattendof

Friday September 22, 2000Volleyball Wins SEC Opener 3-1 Over Alabama

Gainesville, FL

Senior Jerilyn Hattendof

The 12th-ranked University of Florida volleyball team used a season-best offensive production to defeat Alabama 12-15, 15-7, 15-4, 15-5 in the Southeastern Conference opener Friday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

The Gators (7-3, 1-0 SEC), who have won nine consecutive league titles, averaged a .324 hitting efficiency and had three players record double-digit kills. Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) led all hitters with 19 and a .692 hitting efficiency. The middle blocker, who hit out just one ball in 26 attempts, credited her setter and the team's back row play. "We did a great job passing, and (Kris) Bova did a great job distributing the ball." Junior Kris Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior) dished out a career-high 56 assists and was in on eight digs.

Freshman Aury Cruz (Toa Baja, Puerto Rico/Bayamon Military Academy) posted 14 kills and 12 digs in her career debut. The addition of Cruz to the lineup gave UF a different look with senior Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles), playing back row for the first time this season and sophomore Jessica Riester (Palmetto, Fla./Berkeley Prep) seeing the most court time of her career in a single match.

Coach Mary Wise was pleased with Hattendorf and Riester's adaptability tonight. "I don't think there's another player who could have handled (the position change) the way Jerilyn did tonight. I think that was the key to the win."

Hattendorf had three kills, two aces, five digs and was in on two blocks. At right side, Riester, meanwhile had a personal-best match with seven kills and just one error on nine attempts (.667).

"We felt (Jessica's) experience could help us," Wise said. "We asked her to be more consistent, and she came through in a big way for us."

For Bama (10-4, 0-1 SEC), senior Michelle Green had a team-high 15 kills. UF's blocking (11.5-9.5) helped hold her to a .220 offensive average, which was a focus for the UF game plan.

"Alabama did some great things," Wise admitted. "They had an excellent game plan and were very well coached. And, Michelle Green, a player who was hitting over .350…you can see why she's All-SEC. For us to hold her to .200, that was a key stat."

UF takes on Auburn Sunday at 2 p.m. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live.

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