Wednesday October 30, 2002No. 3 Florida Volleyball Handles Bulldogs 3-0
Senior captain Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas) continued where she left off last week with 13 kills and a .545 hitting efficiency as the third-ranked Florida volleyball team continued its dominance of Southeastern Conference opponents Wednesday with a 3-0 sweep (30-20, 30-18, 30-24) of Georgia at the Ramsey Center in Athens.
The victory is Florida's 18th consecutive and extends the Gators' NCAA record streak of consecutive regular season conference wins to 109. Florida is now 33-8 overall against the Bulldogs.
The Gators (21-1, 11-0 SEC) got on the board first in game one when a Georgia attack hit the antenna and went out of bounds. Florida opened up a 4-1 lead quickly after three Georgia hitting errors and a kill from Jacque Robinson (Merced, Calif.). With the Gators ahead 5-3, Florida went on a 5-1 scoring run to go ahead 10-4. Georgia (14-12, 4-7 SEC) answered with two straight points, cutting Florida's lead to four points at 10-6. The Gators then scored three quick points, including a kill and a service ace from Aury Cruz (Levittown, Puerto Rico), to take the 13-6 advantage. With the Gators leading 22-12, the Bulldogs went on a 4-1 run before a Florida kill stopped Georgia's momentum. Florida again took a 10-point lead at 26-26 before Georgia answered with two straight to move to within eight. The Gators scored on the next two plays to go ahead 28-18 and took game one 30-20.
Georgia jumped out to a 3-0 lead to begin the second game, but McCray, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, stopped the run with a kill. The Bulldogs added two more points to take the 5-1 advantage before McCray added kills on the next two plays to bring the Gators to within two points at 5-3. Behind the serving of Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.), Florida took a 6-5 lead that culminated with a kill from Cruz. Georgia scored on the next play to even the game at 6-6, but the Gators answered with two straight, including a block by Benavia Jenkins (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and Lauren Moscovic (Stockton, Calif.) on an attack by Georgia's Julia Petruschke, to go ahead 8-6. Ahead 10-8, Florida added to its lead with consecutive kills by Cruz and Jenkins to take a 12-8 lead. The Gators jumped out to a 20-14 lead, then began a 6-1 run that included three straight blocks from Jenkins and an ace from Moscovic to take the 26-15 lead. Florida took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 30-18 win in game two.
Georgia took control in game three, after Florida took a 2-1 lead. The Bulldogs then went on a 7-1 run to take an 8-3 lead. Florida then went on a 3-1 run to move to within three at 9-6. Georgia scored the next two to take the 11-6 advantage, but the Gators answered with two points to close the gap to three points at 11-8. Florida got to within two at 12-10 before the Bulldogs answered with two straight to go back up by four at 14-10. Slowly, however, the Gators worked their way back and eventually tied the game at 16-16. But after a Cruz service error and a Gator attack that went long, Georgia went back up by two at 18-16. Just as quickly, though, the game was tied at 18 after a Georgia service error and a hitting error by the Bulldogs. McCray then stepped up big again for the Gators, blocking a Georgia attack to give Florida its first lead since the beginning of the game. A kill on the next play gave the Gators the 20-18 advantage and forced the Bulldogs to call a timeout. Robinson added a service ace on the next play to put Florida ahead 21-18. After Georgia scored the next point, the Gators answered with two straight to take a 23-19 lead before the Bulldogs scored again to come back to within three. A dump by Moscovic gave Florida a 25-20 lead, but the Bulldogs would not go away. After a Florida service error, the Bulldogs capitalized on their next service run, scoring two straight to close the gap to 25-23, forcing Florida to call a timeout. After the stoppage, Cruz gave the Gators back the serve with a kill that out Florida up 26-23. Cruz notched another kill on the next play, but a Georgia kill brought the Florida advantage to 27-24. But with the Gators ahead 28-24 and Cruz serving, Florida put away the game and the match with a 30-24 win in the final game.
Cruz led the Gators with 15 kills and a .556 hitting efficiency, while Jenkins also recorded a ,556 hitting percentage and added eight blocks. Robinson registered nine digs, and Moscovic added 40 assists in the win.
For Georgia, Petruschke led the team wil 16 kills, while Luresa Forsyth's nine digs led the Bulldogs.
Florida returns home to face Tennessee on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center - the Gators' first home match in two weeks. Florida defeated the Lady Vols 3-0 in Knoxville earlier this season.