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Sunday November 4, 2001UF Volleyball Clinches at Least a Tie of SEC Title

Gainesville, FL

The Florida volleyball team clinched at least a tie for its 11th straight Southeastern Conference championship by defeating South Carolina 3-0 (30-22, 30-21, 30-23) this afternoon in front of 2,502 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators run their winning streak to 16 straight matches and are now 18-1 on the season and a perfect 12-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida can clinch the conference championship outright with a win Friday night at Tennessee.

Aury Cruz recorded 18 kills in today’s match and hit .371 in the three games. Jacque Robinson hit an effective .500 with nine kills on 16 attempts. Benavia Jenkins recorded eight kills and five block assists in the win. Florida’s two seniors, Kris Bova and Niki Hartley also had a good match, playing in front of the home fans for the final time this regular season. Bova had four kills and no errors on five attempts to hit .800 and assisted on 44 Gator kills. Hartley had eight kills and 10 digs in the win. The Gators, as a team, outblocked the Gamecocks 7-2 and have outblocked their opponent for 16 straight matches. Florida hit .339 this afternoon and has been over the .300 mark for nine of its last 10 matches.

Florida jumped out on South Carolina 6-1 in the first game only to have the Gamecocks come back to within two at 9-7. Florida stretched its lead to 18-12 after one of four service aces by Cruz. After a Hartley error, USC was within three at 21-18. The Gators reeled off six of the next nine points to take command of the game at 27-22. Lauren Moscovic served out the game, notching one of her two aces on game point. Cruz had five kills in the game while Robinson had four.

South Carolina had a 1-0 lead at the outset of the second game, only to have Florida tie it a point later and take the lead the next point. Neither team had a lead of more than two points until a South Carolina error gave UF a 12-9 lead. Florida put together four straight points and took a 16-9 lead. Th Gators ended the second game with another service ace, this one by Cruz.

Florida had a 4-1 lead at the beginning of the second game only to have USC break into it and get within 9-7. At 19-15, UF tallied three straight and took control of a close game. The Gators never let USC get any closer than four points the rest of the way as UF won the clinching game 30-23.

Florida has now won 13 straight matches in the form of 3-0 sweeps and have won 42 consecutive games, dating back to a Sept. 21 date at South Carolina. The Gators go for the 11th championship on Friday at Tennessee and will play at Kentucky on Sunday afternoon. Both matches will be broadcast on WRUF-AM 850 and Gatorzone.com.

End of Report

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