Sunday October 22, 2000Volleyball Sweeps Arkansas
Benavia Jenkins hit a personal-best .588 vs. Arkansas.
The 10th-ranked University of Florida volleyball team prevailed with a 15-3, 15-3, 15-4 victory over Arkansas in a clash between two of the nation's best blocking teams at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Sunday afternoon.
The Gators (17-3, 9-0 Southeastern Conference), ranked fourth nationally in blocks per game, out-blocked the Lady'Backs (12th nationally in blocks per game) 10-5 and posted a ferocious .419 hitting efficiency to win its 11th straight match. It was the 19th consecutive time UF has out-blocked its opponent. UF's brick wall held Arkansas to an .032 attack average.
"This match was a very good production on the defensive side and the offensive side," Coach Mary Wise said. "To hit .419 against a very good blocking team in Arkansas says volumes of the play of Kris Bova and the hitters."
Freshman Benavia Jenkins (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carroll) led the charge on both sides of the ball. The middle blocker was perfect on eight swings midway through Game 2. Jenkins had 11 kills and missed just once in 17 swings to finish with a career-high .588 hitting efficiency. She also led all players with six blocks.
"We thought there were kills to be earned in the middle," Wise said. "Benavia did a good job in transition and making herself available. She was our workhorse today."
Jenkins, though, credited her teammates for making her better today. "The team passing was great all around the court. The team was just great today."
Outside hitter Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico/Bayamon Military Academy) had a match-high 12 kills and nine digs. The frosh joined Jenkins as one of four starters to hit better than .400. Cruz averaged a personal-best .455 (12K-2E-22TA). Juniors Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) and Kris Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior) were in that group. Hartley hit at a season-high .538 (8K-1E-13TA) clip and had three aces, eight digs, and four blocks. Bova averaged a .500 hitting efficiency (4K-1E-6TA) while dishing out 36 assists.
Hartley's three aces won consecutive points for UF in Game 1, tying her personal-best record. UF had only one hitting error at the hands of UA's net defense in the final frame. But, the game was costly for the Gators anyway. Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree), UF's leader in hitting efficiency and blocks, went down with a left ankle sprain late in the game. She was taken for x-rays, and her status will be determined Monday.
UF continues its five-match home stand with the third leg vs. Tennessee Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live.