Friday October 11, 2002No. 3 Volleyball Sweeps Mississippi State
The third-ranked Florida Gators swept Mississippi State 3-0 (30-13, 30-17, 30-17) Friday night in Southeastern Conference volleyball action in front of 5,521 fans at the O'Connell Center, kicking off the school's annual Midnight Madness festivities..
The 5,521 fans in attendance ranks fifth all-time for volleyball crowds in the O'Connell Center. The Gators (15-1, 5-0) are now 4-0 on Midnight Madness.
Benavia Jenkins (Fort Pierce, Fla.), who entered the match leading the Gators in service aces, added another ace to her total on the first serve of the match. Jacque Robinson (Merced, Calif.) and Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas) added to the Florida lead with consecutive blocks, helping the Gatos jump out to a 3-0 lead. With a 5-3 lead, Florida then went on a 12-1 run to open up a 17-4 lead. The Gators extended their lead to 17 points and took game one 30-13.
Mississippi State (10-9, 1-4) got on the board first in the second game, but Florida quickly tied it on Robinson's kill. With Florida holding a 5-2 lead, the Bulldogs went on a 3-0 run to tie it at 5-5 before the Gators went on a 5-1 run to take a 10-6 lead. Sophomore Sherri Williams (Orlando, Fla.) then helped Florida take a 14-8 lead with three straight kills. The Gators built a nine-point advantage at 21-12 and won game two 30-17.
Jenkins began the final game the way she started the match, recording aces on two consecutive serves to put the Gators ahead. The Bulldogs stayed with Florida, however, in the beginning portion of the game. Point by point, though, Florida pulled ahead and eventually won the match, using a 5-0 run to end game three 30-17.
Jenkins led the Gators with a perfect 7-for-7 kill performance, two service aces and five blocks. Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico) registered double digits in kills with 12, while Lauren Moscovic (Stockton, Calif.) led the Gators defensively with 13 digs.
For Mississippi State, Rachel Cooper tallied a team-leading seven kills and seven digs.
The Gators' four-match homestand continues Sunday when Florida plays host to Mississippi at 1 p.m. at the O'Connell Center.