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Friday August 29, 2003No. 3 Volleyball Sweeps American, 3-0

Gainesville, FL

Three members of the No. 3 University of Florida volleyball team recorded double-digit kill totals as the Gators improved their record to 3-1 on the season with an impressive win against American (30-14, 30-21, 30-16) on Friday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The win was the Gators’ second on Friday and moved their record to 2-0 in the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, which concludes tomorrow afternoon.

The Gators were led by senior Aury Cruz’s game-high 15 kills. Joining Cruz in recording double-digit kill totals were senior Benavia Jenkins (13) and redshirt junior Sherri Williams (11).

Williams also led Florida with six block assists. Junior Lauren Moscovic recorded game-highs with nine digs and 45 assists, which more than doubled American’s team total of 22.

"For this to be the second match in the day, I thought the team looked like it had fresh legs," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "I felt we were the quicker team and if we could control first contact, we would be able to maximize our quickness. That’s what happened."

After American (0-2) took a quick 1-0 lead in the first game on a long Gators return, Florida took the lead and did not trail for the remainder of the game. The Gators jumped out to a 12-5 lead, with Moscovic accounting for all seven assists during that stretch. Moscovic turned in a strong showing defensively in the first game as her two consecutive blocks put the Gators up 16-7.

Florida finished the game on a 7-0 run with sophomore Jane Collymore serving, highlighted by two Cruz kills and an ace by Collymore. Jenkins finished game one with five kills to lead both teams.

The Eagles also took a 1-0 lead on the Gators in game two, but unlike the first game, they would not surrender the lead so easily. The Gators trailed by as many as three points before using a 6-0 run to distance themselves and take a 13-9 advantage, punctuated by a Collymore kill. The Gators led 29-18 on match point in game two, but American’s persistence allowed it to crawl back into the game.

The Eagles scored three consecutive points to put the score at 29-21 before Florida freshman Amber McCray’s kill sent them into the locker room down 2-0.

American opened the third game with a lead for the third consecutive time and was up on the Gators 4-3 before Florida pulled away. The Gators went on a 9-3 run, during which Jenkins had three consecutive kills, to take a 12-7 lead.

Junior Michelle Chatman’s strong serving helped the Gators score nine unanswered points to take a 21-8 lead. Chatman recorded an ace during the Gators’ scoring streak. Cruz’s baseline kill sealed the win for the Gators.

Cheering the Gators on to victory against American was Gainesville native Joe Daudelin, who was the 500,000 fan to see the Florida volleyball team.

Florida returns to action Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center to face Brigham Young at 3:30 p.m.

In the 6 p.m. game of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, BYU won its second match of the season with a 3-0 win against Rutgers (30-25, 30-26, 30-18). Rutgers, which lost 3-0 to Florida earlier in the day, dropped to 0-2 on the season while BYU improved to 2-0. BYU senior Carrie Bowers led the way for the Cougars with match-highs in kills (15) and points (18.5). Cougars sophomore Lauren Richards had a match-high 42 assists in the win while Rutgers junior Dawn Christjaener led her team with 11 points.

Rutgers looks to end its losing streak when it faces American at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.




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