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Aury Cruz led the Gators in kills and digs with 11 apiece.

Friday October 25, 2002No. 3 Volleyball Sweeps Kentucky 3-0

Lexington, KY

Aury Cruz led the Gators in kills and digs with 11 apiece.

The third-ranked Florida Gator volleyball team swept Kentucky 3-0 (30-21, 30-20, 30-21) Friday night in Southeastern Conference action at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky.

Kentucky scored the first point of the match, but Florida (19-1, 9-0 SEC) quickly tied it on a Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas) kill. Kills by Benavia Jenkins (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and Jacque Robinson (Merced, Calif.) brought the Gator lead to 5-3, but the Wildcats worked their way back to a 5-5 tie. The Gators then scored two straight points, the second on Michelle Chatman's (Woodridge, Ill.) solo block, to take a 7-5 lead. Both teams continued to trade points, and Florida worked its way to a 10-7 lead on another kill by McCray. Kentucky (8-12, 2-7 SEC) came back to within one point at 12-11, but the Gators got the serve back on a block by Jenkins and Aury Cruz (Levittown, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico). The Wildcats took the lead at 17-16, but a McCray kill quickly tied it. Kentucky again took the lead at 18-17, but a Cruz kill knotted the score at 18-18, and the Gators would not trail again in game one. With Florida leading 20-19, Cruz went on a four-point serving run that included two kills by both Cruz and Jenkins. That run shifted the momentum to Florida's side for good, and the Gators took game one 30-21.

Game two began with a kill by Cruz to give Florida a 1-0 lead. With the score tied at 4-4, the Gators went on a 3-0 run to open a 7-4 lead. Kentucky quickly answered, however, scoring three straight points to knot the game at 7-7. With the stanza tied 8-8, Jane Collymore (Engelwood, Colo.) entered the match and registered a kill on the very next play. The Gators also scored two more points with Collymore serving, extending their lead to 11-8. With Florida holding a 14-10 lead, Lauren Moscovic (Stockton, Calif.) opened a 4-0 serving run, including an ace, to give the Gators their largest lead of the match thus far. Point by point, however, the Wildcats maneuvered their way to within five at 20-15. Florida then went on a 7-1 run that began with a kill by Robinson and included two kills by McCray and a block by Robinson and Ellen Rehme (Indianapolis, Ind.). The Gators reached a double-digit lead for the first time in the match at 26-16, and won the second game 30-20.

The Gators scored the first point of game three, but the Wildcats went on a 3-0 run to take a 3-1 lead. After battling back to a 4-4 tie, Florida opened an 11-2 run that included several kills by Robinson and two blocks from Jenkins to take the 15-6 advantage. Cruz added three consecutive kills midway through the game to extend the Gator lead to 20-9. Florida's largest lead of the game and the match came at 27-12 when the Gators led by 15. The Gators had match point for six consecutive plays, but Florida took the final game 30-21.

Cruz led three Gators in double figures in kills with 11, while Jenkins and McCray followed with 10. Cruz also led the Gators defensively with 11 digs, while Jenkins registered four blocks. For the 17th straight match, Florida out-hit its opponent and also out-blocked its opponent for the 10th straight time. The win is the Gators' NCAA-record 107th consecutive conference regular season victory.

For Kentucky, Sarah Spinner tallied a match-high 12 kills, and Toni Lee added a team-high 11 digs in the loss.

The Gators head to Columbia, S.C., on Sunday to face the No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks at 1:30 p.m. at the Volleyball Facility. Florida is 26-6 overall against South Carolina and 21-1 under Gator Head Coach Mary Wise. Sunday's match will be aired live on WRUF-AM850 and www.gatorzone.com.

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