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Kris Bova paced Florida's winning effort with 41 assists.

Friday August 31, 2001Gator Volleyball Sweeps USF In Second Match of Day

Gainesville, FL

Kris Bova paced Florida's winning effort with 41 assists.

The Florida Gator volleyball team defeated the South Florida Bulls (0-2) in three games (30-11, 30-27, 30-26) Friday night in the final match of the day at the SunTrust Invitational at the O’Connell Center. The Gators improve to 2-0 on the season, thanks to a team hitting percentage of .351 and three players with double-digit kill totals. Benavia Jenkins had a team-high 14 kills while hitting .524 for the match to lead Florida. Aury Cruz had 12 kills and Jacque Robinson had 12 kills to also pace the Gators.

Florida jumped out to a 9-1 lead in Game 1 before South Florida called its first time out of the match. Included in that 9-1 lead was a 7-0 Florida run keyed by three aces by Nicole McCray. Florida extended its lead to 21-8 before SUSF was forced to use its second time out. At that point in the game, five of the six players on the court for Florida had perfect hitting percentages. After the time out, Florida’s lead grew to 24-8, its largest of the match. UF took advantage of its first game point to win the game in only 19 minutes.

The second game saw South Florida claw back and make it s see-saw battle. The Bulls and Gators exchanged points with each team taking a lead no larger than two points. South Florida had a 13-11 lead before Benavia Jenkins registered back-to-back kills to draw UF even. USF pulled ahead 21-19 before Florida called its frist time out. Coming out of the time out, UF jumped to a 24-21 lead. Several points later, Florida won its first game point to win a hard-fought game 30-27.

Game three resembled game two more than the first game. Florida was ahead 26-19 and on its way to winning the match when South Florida awakened for four straight points. In the end it was a Robinson kill over the USF block that proved to be the match-winning point. She finished the match with 10 kills for a .500 hitting percentage and two block assists.

Kris Bova dished out 41 assists for the Gators while Niki Hartley had 12 kills to lead the team. McCray ended the match with four service aces and five total blocks. All in all, it was a match that sets the Gators up well for tomorrow’s match up with No. 6 Arizona tomorrow at the O’Connell Center.

"I think there were moments of good play and things we can improve on," Gator head coach Mary Wise said. "It’ll be a great match. Arizona can block a lot of balls. We have to match them block for block. Our goal is to get significantly better before playing Arizona tomorrow."

Florida will face Arizona in the championship match of the SunTrust Invitational at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The Gator marching band will perform at 4 p.m.

END OF REPORT

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