Sunday September 5, 1999No. 8 FLORIDA VOLLEYBALL LOSES TO NO. 3 NEBRASKA
Florida's Jenny Manz (Orange Park, Fla./Middleburg) and Jenny Whitehead (Jenison, Mich./Jenison/Michigan State) were selected to the SunTrust Invitational's All-Tournament team following a loss (18-16, 9-15, 15-6, 15-6) to third-ranked Nebraska Sunday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in front of a home crowd of 3,103 fans.
Senior all-American Manz posted 6 kills and 10 digs against a defensively sound Nebraska squad. Whitehead's 20 kills led all hitters in the match while adding 12 digs and three block assists.
Nebraska (4-2, 0-0 Big XII) found itself in a battle against eighth-ranked Florida (4-2, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) in the first game of the match. The Gators jumped out to an early six-point lead before NU's Nancy Meendering and Jenny Kropp became a blocking force at the net. Florida had four attempts to put NU away, but went on to lose the emotional game.
In game two, Florida scored four unanswered points after tying at nine to win. Nebraska's block proved crucial again in games three and four enabling them to control all-American Jenny Manz.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Meendering posted 19 kills, 14 digs and six block assists to lead the Huskers. Angie Oxley added 14 kills and 14 digs to the NU effort. Sophomore Jenny Kropp had 10 kills and five block assists.
Florida coach Mary Wise noted NU's block as a major factor in the loss. "Nebraska's strength is its ability to block and serve well," Wise said. "We played very hard in game one and used a lot of energy to come back in game two. Depth was a factor, but not as important as Nebraska's ability to block and take away shots."
Other members of the All-Tournament team included Iowa's Julie Williams, Western Michigan's Jen Nowak and Nebraska's Mandy Monson.
In other tournament play, Iowa (0-3, 0-0 Big Ten) took Western Michigan (2-2, 0-0 MAC) to four games (15-9, 15-6, 7-15, 15-5) before the Broncos put them away to take the win. WMU coasted through the first two games, but struggled early on in game three as a result of UI's Julie Williams whose 27 kills led all hitters in the match.
WMU's fourth-game defense proved too much for the Hawkeyes as blockers Tracie Morin and Mandy Whitfield posted five block assists each for the match. Mandy Whitfield pounded 11 kills while M'Myia McQuirter added 10 kills to the Bronco effort.
The Gators will face North Carolina in the Inntowner Invitational, hosted by Wisconsin, Friday, Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. Dayton also competes in the classic-style tournament to be held in Madison, Wis.