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Sunday November 11, 2001UF Volleyball Sweeps UK, Finishes Perfect in SEC


Fresh off clinching its 11th consecutive Southeastern Conference championship, the seventh ranked Florida Gators closed out their regular season at the University of Kentucky. Today's 3-0 (30-20, 30-15, 30-19) win seals the seventh straight undefeated SEC season for the Gators the ninth undefeated conference season for Gator head coach Mary Wise.

Aury Cruz was once again the offensive leader for the Gators. She registered 12 kills in the win. Benavia Jenkins had 11 kills and two blocks as well. Niki Hartley had nine kills and only one error for a .615 clip. Nine different Gators registered kills in the win. Sherri Williams contributed three block assists of her own. As a team, the Gators outblocked the Wildcats 10-5 and have now outblocked their opponents in 18 straight matches.

Florida took a 6-5 led on a Nicole McCray kill and never looked back in the first game of the match. The lead was pushed to 15-8 after McCray and Cruz recorded back to back kills and UK recorded two attack errors. Kentucky spent one of its time outs in an effort to thwart the Gator run. The run ended after seven straight for UF. Kentucky blocked tow of Cruz's blocks consecutively to cut into the lead only to have Jenkins kill back to back attacks, making the lead 19-13 UF. Florida's lead was 26-18 when Kentucky called its second time out. The first game took only 21 minutes as the Gators jumped out to a 1-0 lead with the 30-20 Game 1 win.

The Gators jumped out to a 6-0 lead on the Wildcats in the second game before UK called a time out. Kentucky called a time out and scored two straight points to dent the scoreboard. Florida, however reeled off the next five points to take an 11-2 lead. Niki Hartley killed a ball off an overpass to extend the lead to 10 points. With Florida leading 22-11, UF won eight of the next 13 points to take the second game.

McCray served up four straight points at the outset of the third game to give the Gators a 6-2 lead. UF took a 15-8 lead before UK ended a 6-0 Florida run. Lauren Moscovic served an ace to extend the lead to 17-9. Jenkins killed a ball to make the lead 23-14. Kentucky inched closer to the Gators at 25-17 before McCray hit a quick middle set for a kill. Cruz and McCray blocked an attack to start Florida on a 4-2 game-finishing run that consisted of another UF block, a UK service error and a Hartley kill.

The Gators will enter next weekend's SEC Tournament as the top seed. Florida will play Georgia in the first round on Friday at a time to be determined. Arkansas has clinched the second seed while South Carolina will be the third seed. Seeds four through six are still yet to be determined, but they will consist of Tennessee, LSU and Alabama. Kentucky will be the seventh seed and Georgia is the eighth seed. The tournament will be held at the Stokely Athletics Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

End of Report

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