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Junior Aury Cruz reached the 1,000th-kill plateau for her career Friday with 22 kills against LSU

Friday October 18, 2002No. 3 Volleyball Tames LSU 3-1

Gainesville, FL

Junior Aury Cruz reached the 1,000th-kill plateau for her career Friday with 22 kills against LSU

Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico) tallied her 1,000th career kill to help the No. 3 Florida Gators defeat LSU 3-1 (30-32, 30-20, 30-13, 30-20) Friday night in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in front of 2,065 Gator fans.

Cruz led the Gators (17-1, 7-0 SEC) with 22 kills to become the second Gator this season to surpass the 1,000 kill plateau for her career. Senior captain Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas) recorded her 1,000th career kill earlier this season vs. Georgia on Oct. 2.

The win extended Florida's NCAA-record streak for most consecutive regular-season conference victories to 105. The Gators also won their 90th straight home match against SEC foes, having never lost to a league opponent under head coach Mary Wise.

The Tigers maintained control of game one with a 4-1 start. The Gators took their first lead of the game with a kill by McCray to put Florida ahead, 9-8. UF trailed behind LSU until Cruz sparked a 4-0 run to tie the game 21-21. LSU responded with its own 4-0 run to regain the lead, 25-21. The Gators fought to the end, putting together a 5-0 run to take the lead, 30-29. The Tigers were able to take control and get the win 32-30.

The Tigers’ upset of the Gators in game one gave Florida its first loss in SEC action since the Gators defeated South Carolina 3-2 on Sept. 21, 2001.

Florida maintained the lead throughout game two, and a McCray kill ended the game, 30-20. Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.) led the Gators with four kills on five attempts. Florida held LSU to a .031 (10-9-32) hitting percentage while the Gators hit .226 (14-7-31).

UF got off to a 10-2 start in game three. Cruz connected on her 1,000 career kill to put Florida ahead 20-9. Jacque Robinson's (Merced, Calif.) ace ended game three 30-13. As a team, Florida hit .519, totaling 16 kills and only two errors. The Gators held LSU to -.125 hitting percentage.

Florida put together a 10-0 run early in game four to lead 12-3. Benavia Jenkins (Fort Pierce, Fla.) registered three of her nine total blocks, including one solo block that put the Gators up 10-2. Point by point, the Tigers crept back and worked their way within five points. Florida then went on a 6-1 run to end the game, and Jennifer Hampton of LSU made an attack error to end game four 30-20.

The Gators tallied nine service aces, a season high for the team. Jane Collymore (Engelwood, Colo.) had a career-high four service aces. Florida outblocked LSU (10-7, 2-4 SEC) 14-11.

Florida returns to action on Sunday, when they play host to Arkansas beginning at 1 p.m. in the O'Connell Center.


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