Sunday October 29, 2000Volleyball Sweeps Kentucky
The 10th-ranked Florida Gator volleyball team used some new weapons to sweep Kentucky 15-5, 15-6, 15-3 and win its 13th-consecutive match Sunday afternoon in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Freshman Benavia Jenkins (Ft. Pierce, Fla./John Carroll) and sophomore Jessica Riester (Palmetto, Fla./Berkeley Prep) led UF (19-3, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) with career-best offensive efforts over the Wildcats (4-18, 2-9 SEC). The duo more than made up for the missing offensive prowess of Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree). McCray, a sophomore and ranked ninth nationally in blocks per game, was out with a sprained left ankle.
"Jessica Riester was solid in her role today," Coach Mary Wise said. "It was obvious to see in her hitting stats, but where she was really key was in her passing. We were able to take a negative in Nicole being injured and turn it into a positive."
Riester, normally a right-side hitter for the Gators, posted a personal-best .583 hitting efficiency. She tied a career-high seven kills and had no errors on 12 swings. Riester also served one ace and was in on one block. Jenkins led all-hitters with a career-best .706 hitting efficiency. The middle blocker was perfect with 12 kills on 17 attempts. She also had a match-high five blocks (one solo) as UF out-blocked its opponent, 8-2, for the 21st consecutive match.
Sophomore Tammy Foxworth (Joliet, Ill./Joliet) came in relief for Riester in two games. Foxworth finished second on the team with a career-high three blocks.
Senior Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) was not surprised by her teammates' abilities to quickly pick up that load in the middle. "It's a character thing. I think it shows a lot about our team's character to come in and do that."
Freshman Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico/Bayamon Military Academy) had a match-high 14 kills. It was the eighth straight match she led UF in kills. Defensively, junior Niki Hartley (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) continued to dazzle the UF coaching staff as she led all players with 11 digs and put up two roofs. "In one game, (Niki) would make a highlight tape for some teams' season," Wise said.
As a team, UF finished with a .375 hitting efficiency to UK's .092. The Gators also out-dug the 'Cats 37-29.
The Gators play their last regular-season home match vs. Georgia Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Seniors Hattendorf and Heather Wright (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) will be honored. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live at 6:50 p.m. For tickets, call 1.800.34.GATOR (in Florida only) or 352.375.4683.
Kentucky vs Florida (Oct 29, 2000 at Gainesville, Fla.)
Florida def. Kentucky 15-5,15-6,15-3
Kentucky (4-18, 2-9 SEC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Megan Weiskircher 11-0-0; Kristen Batt 5-0-1; April Barnhorst 4-0-2; Liz McCaslin 3-0-0; Brooke Dodson 1-2-0; Whitney Sample 1-0-1; Sissy Canfield 1-0-0; Kristi Kelley 1-0-0; Aleisha Craven 0-1-0; Totals 27-3-2.0. (Assists) Whitney Sample 15. (Dig leaders) - Megan Weiskircher 7; Kristen Batt 5
Florida (19-3, 11-0 SEC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Aury Cruz 14-3-1; Benavia Jenkins 12-0-5; Niki Hartley 9-1-2; Jacque Robinson 8-0-1; Jessica Riester 7-1-1; Kris Bova 2-1-1; Tammy Foxworth 1-0-3; Jen Mandes 0-1-0; Totals 53-7-8.0. (Assists) - Kris Bova 46. (Dig leaders) Niki Hartley 11; Aury Cruz 8
Site: Gainesville, Fla. (O'Connelle Center)
Date: Oct 29, 2000 Attend: 1364 Time: 1:10 Referees: Crystal Lewis, Mike Hertz