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Benavia Jenkins led the Gators with eight blocks.

Friday August 31, 2001Gator Volleyball Defeats Herd In Season Opener

Gainesville, FL

Benavia Jenkins led the Gators with eight blocks.

The Florida Gator volleyball team (1-0) defeated the Marshall Thundering Herd (0-1) in three games (30-16, 30-20, 30-11) this afternoon in the second match of the SunTrust Invitational at the O’Connell Center.

The Gators took a quick 10-1 lead in the first game led by kills by Jacque Robinson and Benavia Jenkins and serving from Aury Cruz and Kris Bova. Florida continued to keep at least a ten-point lead through most of the game. Jenkins, Cruz and Nicole McCray dominated the net to give Florida the 30-16 win with the new rally scoring rule in effect.

Florida did not start as strong in the second game, as Marshall was able to get its first and only lead of the match at 2-1. The Thundering Herd was able to keep it close through the entire game and even brought it within one at 14-13. The Gators took control from there, once again with McCray and Cruz leading the team. With the score still fairly close at 25-17, Cruz fired off four straight kills. Jacque Robinson added a big finish, slamming the ball to the floor, to give Florida the 30-20 win game two.

Game three clearly belonged to the Gators. Freshman Michelle Chatman played a great game for Florida in her collegiate debut. She pounded three kills and knocked down two blocks in the third game. Jenkins and Robinson also combined for some big plays at the net. Florida was able to keep the Herd stuck at nine, as it scored ten unanswered points on blocks and Marshall errors.

Cruz led the Gators with 14 kills and hit an efficient .684 clip. Jenkins led Florida at the net with one solo block and seven block assists. The Gators hit .309 as a team, compared to Marshall’s -.067.

In the first match of the tournament, Arizona defeated South Florida 3-0. Florida takes on South Florida tonight in match four of the SunTrust Invitational at 7:30 p.m.


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