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Wednesday October 24, 2001Gator Volleyball Sweeps LSU in Hard-Fought Win

BATON ROUGE, La.

In a rare mid week conference match, the ninth-ranked Florida volleyball team took on the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge this evening. The Gators earned a hard-fought win with the 3-0 win over the Tigers (30-27, 30-26, 30-21). Florida runs its winning streak to 13 matches and is 15-1 on the season. UF hands LSU its first loss on its home court this season.

Aury Cruz had 22 kills and has recorded double-digit kills in 19 straight matches. Benavia Jenkins had 12 kills while Niki Hartley kicked in 14 digs. Lauren Moscovic had a career high 12 digs. As a team, Florida hit .273 and held LSU to .188. The Gators outblocked the Tigers 9-2.

Niki Hartley served up an ace to give UF a 2-1 lead early on. Aury Cruz killed a ball for the 3-1 lead before Kris Bova killed her first ball for the 5-1 lead. After an LSU hitting error, Hartley killed her second ball of the match to five the Gators a 9-2 lead. Bova earned dump kill extending the UF lead to 10-5. LSU drew closer at 12-10 before Cruz killed a ball and LSU hit an attack out of bounds for a 14-10 Gator lead. LSU drew to within one, three points later before Hartley came through with a kill. At 16-15 Florida, Benavia Jenkins registered her first kill of the match. After an LSU service ace, the Tigers tied the game at 17 only to have Jenkins break the tie. Back to back service aces by Cruz forced LSU to call a time out. Jenkins' third kill of the match gave UF a 22-18 lead. LSU killed a ball to make the score 23-22 in favor of the Gators, UF called its first time out in the last five matches. Coming out of the timeout, Bova killed a ball for the two-point Florida lead. Two questionable calls fell against the Gators and the match was tied at 25. A Cruz kill gave UF a 26-25 lead that was stretched to 29-25 before UF won the game 20-27.

Game two started with LSU jumping out to a 5-2 lead. Jenkins' sixth kill of the match pulled the Gators to within two. The Gators tied the game at seven after a rally that consisted of nearly 20 attacks by the two teams. LSU took a lead of 13-10 before Cruz cut the lead to 13-11 with a kill. With the score 15-12 in favor of the Tigers, Florida called a time out. Florida scored consecutive points out of the break to cut the lead to one. Florida turned a 19-15 deficit into a 20-19 LSU advantage before the Tigers called their first time out of the second stanza. The second game was tied for the fifth time at 22 when UF took a 23-22 advantage only to give it up again on a service error. Hartley killed a ball to give UF a 26-24 lead, forcing LSU to spend its final time out. The eighth tie of the game came at 26-26. Jenkins blocked a ball to break the tie. Jacque Robinson and Nicole McCray. After an LSU lift violation, Robinson killed the game-clinching attack to give the Gators a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Tigers began the third game just as they did the second, by jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Just as it did after being down early in the second game, Florida chipped away at the lead and tied the game at nine. Jen Mandes served up back to back aces to give the Gators a four-point bulge at 14-10. Following a block assist by Robinson and McCray forced the lead to 15-10, LSU called a time out. McCray killed an attack to give the Gators an 18-13 lead. After four hits by LSU and a Jenkins kill, Gators had a 20-13 lead and LSU spent its second allotted time out. The Gators stepped up their passing and blocking in the third game and began to pull away with a lead of 23-13. UF also hit more efficiently in the third frame with 17 kills on 42 attempts and only three errors, a percentage of .333. Florida took advantage of its third chance at match point to win the game 30-21 and the match 3-0.

Florida travels to Arkansas to play the Lady Razorbacks on Friday in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks will come into the match with an unblemished SEC record of 9-0. The match can be heard on WRUF-AM 850 and on Gatorzone.com.

End of Report

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