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Jenkins and Bova connected 11 times for kills. Jenkins also had 11 blocks.

Friday December 1, 2000Volleyball Sweeps SEMO, On to NCAA Regional Semis

Gainesville, FL

Jenkins and Bova connected 11 times for kills. Jenkins also had 11 blocks.

Behind a stalwart first line of defense that netted a season-high blocking effort, the University of Florida volleyball team advanced to NCAA Pacific Region Semifinal for the 10th consecutive time with a 15-1, 15-7, 15-5 victory over Southeast Missouri State in the second round Friday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

UF (29-4) put up a season-high 17 blocks to hold SEMO's (23-9) offense to a meager .085 hitting efficiency. The Gators, meanwhile, averaged 389. Freshman Benavia Jenkins (Ft. Pierce, Fla./John Carroll) was the driving force behind both of those efforts. Playing in just her first NCAA tournament, the middle blocker posted her second double-double in kills and blocks this season with 11 of each, including two solo blocks. She had just two errors on 21 swings for a .429 hitting efficiency.

Coach Mary Wise attributed the win to UF's defense. "It was our ability to block balls, particularly the blocking of our two middle blockers, and the transition digs," she said. "We kept their outside hitters in check. We felt that we would give Southeast Missouri a lot of matchup problems with our size, especially in the middle and that really proved to be the case today."

Setter Kris Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior), who swung for an .800 hitting efficiency, dished out 39 assists to three different players recording double-digit kills. Freshman Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico/Bayamon Military Academy) led the kills charge with 14 had a team high nine digs. Cruz also had three of UF's five aces.

The Gators will face the winner of the second round match played Dec. 2 at Southern California. The host Trojans are the top seed in the region.

Florida def. SE Missouri State 15-1,15-7,15-5

SE Missouri State (23-9) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Lea Beckemeyer 12-0-1; Rachelle Knapp 6-0-1; Sarah Frost 4-0-0; Krista Haukap 4-0-1; Suzanne Gundlach 3-0-0; Emily Scannell 3-1-0; Lori Lange 2-0-0; Emily Johnson 1-0-1; Emily Wahlman 1-0-0; Totals 36-1-2.0. (Assists) - Emily Scannell 29. (Dig leaders) - Suzanne Gundlach 11; Lea Beckemeyer 8

Florida (29-4) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Aury Cruz 14-3-6; Benavia Jenkins 11-0-11; Nicole McCray 10-0-6; Niki Hartley 8-1-2; Kris Bova 4-1-2; Jacque Robinson 4-0-4; Jerilyn Hattendorf 2-0-0; Totals 53-5-17.0. (Assists) - Kris Bova 39. (Dig leaders) - Aury Cruz 9; Kris Bova 7

Site: Gainesville, Fla. (O'Connell Center)

Date: Dec 01, 2000 Attend: 1431 Time: 1:15

Referees: Patty Salvatore, Donnie Goodwin


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