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Sunday October 7, 2001Gator Volleyball Records Program's 499th Win

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.

The eighth-ranked Florida volleyball team was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., taking on the Crimson Tide in an SEC match up. The Gators upended Alabama 3-0 (30-21, 30-16, 30-22) at Coleman Coliseum. With the win, Florida (10-1/5-0 SEC) now has 499 wins in its volleyball history and has won 89 consecutive regular season conference matches, the second most in NCAA history, and the longest current streak in the country. The Gators break Alabama's seven-match home winning streak.

Aury Cruz reached double figures in kills for the 11th match this season and ended with 16 kills. She also recorded 11 digs for her 21st career double-double. Niki Hartley recorded 13 kills and 10 digs for the Gators. Kris Bova assisted on a season high 42 Florida kills. As a team, Florida hit at a .345 clip, while holding Alabama to .100.

Florida opened up the match with back to back kills before Cruz put Alabama (10-5/3-3 SEC) on the scoreboard with a service error. The Crimson tide took a 4-3 lead on a block of a McCray attempt. The game was tied at 9-9 after a Florida net violation. The Gators regained the lead on a Cruz kill. After an ace and a Tide hitting error, UF had a 13-9 lead forcing Alabama to call a time out. Two Cruz kills and two hitting errors by Bama gave Florida a 19-13 lead when Alabama called its second time out. Bova killed a ball on second touch to give Florida a 20-15 advantage. Two consecutive hitting errors by the Tide and a Florida block extended the Gator lead to 23-15. UF had a 5-0 run to keep its lead at 25-15 before the Tide reeled off four straight points. Jacque Robinson killed a ball to give Florida its first game piont. Alabama hit a ball out of bounds to give the Gators a 30-21 win. Cruz had six kills in the first game, while Hartley connected on five of her 11 attempts. Hartley and Bova each had five digs in the first stanza.

Kills by Hartley, Robinson and Cruz and a Hartley service ace contributed to a 6-2 Florida lead before Alabama called a time out. Robinson's fourth kill of the match gave Florida a 9-5 lead just before back to back service errors by each team gave UF a 10-5 lead. Robinson and McCray combined for a block to end the longest rally of the match and then Mandes served up an ace for a 12-7 Florida lead. Bova killed another second contact for a 15-9 Florida lead. Benavia Jenkins' sixth kill of the match gave UF a 18-11 lead before Robinson coupled with a Bama error extended that lead to 20-12. Coming out of an Alabama time out, Cruz recorded three consecutive cross-court kills to make the lead 23-12. Robinson killed the next ball to end a 4-0 UF run. A Hartley kill lead to another Mandes ace, giving the Gators a 28-14 advantage. UF earned game point on a Bama hitting error. Two points later, Hartley killed a ball to give Florida a 2-0 lead.

Alabama hung tough at the outset of the third game, tying the game three separate times and taking leads of 8-7 and 9-8. The Gators responded to take the lead back at 11-9 on a Bova service ace and a Robinson kill. Cruz's second ace of the match put Florida back ahead after another tie only to have Jenkins hit an attack long and tie the game yet again. Two Hartley kills and a Jenkins kill gave UF a 21-18 lead, forcing Alabama to call a timeout. Jenkins recorded two kills and Robinson added another as Florida took a 27-22 lead. Lauren Moscovic served up three points to win the third game for the Gators, 30-22.

Florida returns home next weekend to host Mississippi (Friday, Oct. 12) and Mississippi State (Sunday, Oct. 14) at the O'Connell Center. Both matches over the weekend can be heard on WRUF-AM 850 and on Gatorzone.com.

Friday's match with Mississippi will be a 9 pm start and will be held in conjunction with Midnight Madness, the official start of the NCAA Basketball season. At midnight, following the match, both the Gator and Lady Gator basketball teams will be introduced as they conduct their first practices of the season.

End of Report

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