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Saturday September 11, 1999Volleyball Wins Tournament From No. 13 Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis.

The sixth-ranked Florida volleyball team took the InnTowner Invitational title from four-time defending champion No. 13 Wisconsin with a 15-7, 16-14, 15-9 win in front of 2,669 fans at the Wisconsin Field House Saturday night.

Florida moved to 6-2 on the season (2-2 against ranked teams) while Wisconsin, which suffered its first home sweep since falling to then-No. 2 Penn State in Nov. 1998, is 4-2.

Jenny Manz (Orange Park, Fla./Middleburg) was named MVP of the tournament. Teammates senior Jen Sanchez (San Antonio, Texas/Providence) and junior Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) were named to the all-tournament team. It was Hattendorf's first such career honor, coming appropriately after the night's performance.

"I thought it was a good early season match," Coach Mary Wise said. "Wisconsin is similar to Florida as it is a work in progress. This Wisconsin team is going to make a run for it. The difference was our ability to keep Wisconsin from running points with our serving and blocking, and controlling our first contact."

The Gators, who hit .328 on the match, served five aces. Manz led the parade with a season-high tying three. Sophomore Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Lone Pine) tallied a match-best four blocks in her team's six.

Hattendorf led all hitters with seven kills in game one as they posted a nearly unstoppable .550 hitting efficiency. Florida combined for 25 kills on 40 attempts with only one unforced error. Hattendorf later went on to tie her career-high 12 kills and set a season-high .588 hitting percentage (12-2-17).

"Jerilyn has given us back-to-back matches where she has helped us in so many ways," Wise said. "Her performance tonight enabled us to get around the block and gave us another option that I don't think they were expecting."

Manz climbed into fifth place on the Gator career digs chart in a climactic second game. The senior All-America finished the night with 12 and 947 on her career. She registered four in the game, helping her team stop a steadily improving Badger offense. Wisconsin started out slow, allowing Florida to go ahead 10-3. But, it came on strong and knotted the score at 14 a piece. Two Badger hitting errors gave the Gators the game, which could have been a turning point, according to Wise.

"Certainly being 1-1 is better (for Wisconsin) than (Florida) being up 2-0. We gave up some timely serves. We've seen this before with (the other team) running up points, and the crowd getting into it."

Florida closed out the match with a .258 offensive effort in game three while holding Wisconsin to .071. The Gator defense made the difference, out-digging the Badgers 14-8.

Florida hosts the University Centre Hotel Invitational Sept. 17-18. The Gators will open against Iowa State Friday at 7 p.m. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live.

 

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