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Niki Hartley

Sunday October 1, 2000Volleyball Sweeps Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss.

Niki Hartley

Behind a season-best offensive production, the 12th-ranked Florida Gator volleyball team handed Ole Miss a 15-4, 15-12, 15-2 sweep to remain perfect in the Southeastern Conference Sunday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center.

UF (11-3, 4-0 SEC) averaged a .441 hitting efficiency to UM’s (8-8, 1-3 SEC) .182 to win its fifth consecutive match. The Gators now lead the series 20-3 all-time and 14-0 under Coach Mary Wise.

Wise was pleased with her squad’s offensive effort. "Our goal is to be a team that hits closer to .300, and today was a good step toward that. To have our two middles hit .700 and .500, and a freshman round out the pack near .300…that’s a pretty good job."

Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) led all hitters with a season-high .706 hitting efficiency (13-1-17) Freshman Benavia Jenkins (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carroll) was second with a personal-best .500 average (7-1-12).

Junior Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) and freshman Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico/Bayamon Military Academy) were second with 11 kills a piece. Hartley led defensively with eight digs.

Cruz was perfect with seven kills on seven swings to bring UF back from an early 3-1 deficit in Game 1. As a team, the Gators averaged a .565 attack percentage (14-1-23). In contrast, UM had seven kills for a .200 hitting efficiency.

UF almost surrendered an 8-3 lead in the second game. The Rebels outscored UF 9-4 to tie it at 12. It was the most points UM has scored against the Gators since 1992. Hartley led the Gators with five kills in the late-game battle, which lengthened the game to 29 minutes—15 minutes longer than the opening set. She led all hitters with a .467 average (9-2-15) in that frame.

Wise credited a pair of Florida natives for that threat. "I thought the run was sparked by the two Zschau sisters. I loved how they played."

Kira and Karla, from Dunedin, led UM with nine and seven kills, respectively.

The Gators easily handled UM in the final game. They held UM to a negative .038 hitting efficiency while averaging .455.

UF plays North Carolina Wednesday Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The Sunshine Network will telecast it live from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Or, fans can listen in on WRUF-AM 850 live.

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