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Benavia Jenkins tallied 15 kills and four service aces in the Gators' win over UCSB.

Friday September 5, 2003No. 3 VB Sweeps No. 7 UC Santa Barbara 3-0

Palo Alto, CA

Benavia Jenkins tallied 15 kills and four service aces in the Gators' win over UCSB.

Led by 13 kills and 10 digs from senior Aury Cruz and 15 kills from Benavia Jenkins, the No. 3 Florida volleyball team swept seventh-ranked UC Santa Barbara 3-0 (30-23, 30-28, 30-21) at the Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif. The win was also Head Coach Mary Wise's 400th at the helm of the Gator volleyball program.

In addition to her 15 kills, Jenkins also hit a match-high .542 and added eight digs and two blocks. Libero Jen Mandes tallied a team-high 11 digs, while Sherri Williams added 13 kills and five blocks in the win.

Florida (5-1) jumped out to a quick lead in the first game, as Jenkins scored four of the Gators' first five points with three kills followed by a service ace. After a block from Williams and Lauren Moscovic gave Florida a 6-2 advantage, Moscovic began a six-point serving run that included three kills by Williams, a kill by Cruz and a Moscovic service ace to give the Gators a 12-4 lead. That run forced UC Santa Barbara (1-2) to use a timeout. The Gauchos came out of the stoppage and went on a 7-2 run to pull to within three points at 14-11 before Florida used its first timeout to stop the momentum. UCSB got to within one point at 15-14 before Michelle Chatman took over and scored the next three points for Florida with two kills and a service ace for an 18-14 lead. The two teams then traded points, with the Gauchos moving to within one several times, but Florida took over the momentum in going on a 5-1 run to take a 27-22 lead. The Gators won the opening stanza 30-23.

UF took the lead again in the second game as Jane Collymore led the Gators on a six-point serving run that included kills from Jenkins and Moscovic and a block by Jenkins and Cruz. That run gave Florida a 7-1 lead. The Gators extended that advantage to 9-2, forcing UCSB to burn a timeout. The next stretch nearly mirrored game one, as UCSB lived up to its billing as a very defensive-minded team and would not let a ball hit the floor. The Gauchos went on a 10-5 run to close to within two at 14-12 before Florida took a timeout. With a 16-14 advantage, Florida went on a 3-0 run to extend its lead to 19-14 with kills from Williams and Collymore and a Williams/Cruz block. After trading points on the next two plays and Florida holding a 20-16 lead, UCSB opened a 5-0 run to take its first lead of the match at 21-20. The Gators then called a timeout to stop the momentum and immediately went to Cruz who produced two straight kills to give Florida the 22-21 lead. The teams then traded points, and after the Gauchos led 26-24, kills from Cruz and Williams knotted the game at 26-26 and Jenkins gave the Gators the lead back with a service ace. UCSB tied it again after Florida was called for a net violation, then the Gators retook the lead on a long attack by the Gauchos. UCSB knotted it again at 28-28 before kills by Cruz and Williams, respectively, gave the Gators the 30-28 win in game two.

With her kill to give Florida a 4-1 lead in game three, Cruz moved into third place in school history in career kills, passing Jenny Wood's total of 1,387. UCSB came back and tied the game at 4-4, and with Florida leading 6-5, the Gators went on a 5-0 run for the 11-5 advantage and forced the Gauchos to call a timeout. UCSB could not put a string of two points together until the 16-9 mark when the Gauchos went on a 2-0 run to close to 16-11. The closest UCSB would get was five points at 18-13 as the Gators would build a 24-17 lead. After a timeout, the Gauchos went on a 2-0 run to pull to within five points at 24-19 before a Jenkins kill stopped any run UCSB might have started. Florida wrapped up the match with a 30-21 win in game three.

For UC Santa Barbara, Erica Menzel led the team with 17 digs, while Kristin Nelson added 15 and Mari Bell tallied 11. Bell also added six kills and a team-high .417 hitting percentage.

The Gators take on No. 4 Stanford Saturday at 8 p.m. EST. The match will be broadcast live on courtesy of Yahoo and will also be televised on a taped-delay basis as the inaugural match of the AVCA National Match of the Week by the College Sports Television Network. The match will air on CSTV at 6 p.m. EST on Sunday and locally on Cox Channel 15 in Gainesville and Ocala.

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