Sunday October 20, 2002No. 3 Volleyball Sweeps Arkansas 3-0
Florida set a season-high of nine service aces in its 3-0 win (30-14, 30-19, 30-23) Sunday afternoon over SEC-foe Arkansas at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in front of 1,712 Gator fans.
Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico) set an individual season-high with five service aces, and Jacque Robinson (Merced, Calif.) tallied four services aces to register a season-high as the Gators (18-1, 8-0 SEC) handed Arkansas its second SEC loss this season.
The win extended Florida's NCAA-record streak for most consecutive regular-season conference victories to 106. The Gators also won their 91st consecutive home match against SEC foes, never having lost to a league opponent under head coach Mary Wise.
Florida took control early in game one when Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.) put the Gators on the board first with a kill. Consecutive service aces from Cruz put the Gators ahead 7-4. Both teams struggled with hitting early in the game; however, a Cruz kill sparked a 16-4 Gator run to end the game 30-14. Florida's serving added to the Gator cause, with four service aces and only two service errors. UF held Arkansas to a .000 hitting percentage (9-9-34), while the Gators had 13 kills with only three errors for a .385 hitting percentage.
Arkansas (15-5, 6-2 SEC) hung in with Florida in the beginning of game two before the Gators put together a 6-0 run to pull away with a 12-5 lead. Florida once again had four service aces compared to Arkansas' one ace. Robinson had back-to-back service aces to put Florida up 27-12. UF outblocked the Lady Razorbacks 5-2 with the help of senior captain Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas). Three Gators had a .400 hitting efficiency or better (Benavia Jenkins, 1.000; McCray, .750; Robinson, .400).
McCray's kill sparked a 4-0 Gator run as Florida took a 4-1 lead in game three. Arkansas fought back and closed the gap at 18-15 with a pair of service aces. The Lady Razorbacks went on a 7-4 run to trail Florida 25-23. However, the Gators scored the next five points to take the game 30-23. Florida hit a match-high .438 during game three and held the Lady Backs to their match-best .143 hitting percentage.
For the seventh consecutive match, Cruz led the Gators with 17 kills. Three Gators hit higher than .400, with McCray leading the team with .667 hitting percentage with 13 kills and only one error. Robinson had seven kills and only two errors for a .417 hitting percentage, while Cruz compiled a .414 hitting percentage on 17 kills with five errors.
The sweep over Arkansas marks the 14th time this season Florida has won in three games. UF now has swept seven of its eight SEC opponents this season, dropping only one game to LSU.
Florida travels to Kentucky to face the Wildcats Friday at 7 p.m. The Gators will then meet the Lady Gamecocks of South Carolina Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Columbia, S.C. Both matches will be broadcast over the web at www.Gatorzone.com or on AM850.