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Michelle Chatman tallied a career-high 16 kills in Florida's win over Chicago State Friday.

Friday September 19, 2003No. 3 Florida Volleyball Sweeps Chicago State 3-0

Evanston, IL

Michelle Chatman tallied a career-high 16 kills in Florida's win over Chicago State Friday.

The third-ranked Florida volleyball team notched its eighth consecutive shutout with a 3-0 win (30-15, 30-16, 30-19) over Chicago State Friday night to open the Wildcat Classic at Northwestern University.

Florida (9-1) was led by Michelle Chatman with a career-high 16 kills and two blocks for 17 points, while Jane Collymore tallied 10 points on nine kills and one service ace. Stefanie Douglas tallied a career-high two solo blocks and three block assists.

The Gators got on the board first in the opening game on a kill by Aury Cruz, but Chicago State reeled off three straight points before Sherri Williams answered for Florida with a kill to bring the Gators back to within one at 3-2. Florida tied the match at 4-4 on a kill by Jane Collymore, and after giving up the next point, pulled back to a tie on a Benavia Jenkins kill. The Gators took the lead for good on a Cougar attack error, followed by a Collymore service ace. In all, Florida went on a 6-0 run to take the 13-6 advantage before forcing Chicago State to call a timeout to try to stop the Gator momentum. UF continued the barrage with another four points on the serving of Jenkins to take an 11-point lead at 17-6. The Cougars answered with three straight before a Cruz kill put the Gators ahead 18-9. Florida went on a 5-0 run to take a 16-point lead at 28-12 and won the first game 30-15.

Florida opened up the second game with a 3-1 lead, and freshman Amber McCray, who started the second stanza along with fellow rookie Stefanie Douglas, ripped a kill to give Florida the 4-2 lead. Two plays later, the newcomers combined for the block to extend the Gator lead to 6-2. After Chicago State scored on a block, Florida answered with three straight on a Michelle Chatman kill, a Rachel Engel service ace and a solo block for Douglas to go up 9-3. Again the Cougars scored just one point before the Gators opened another run - this time a four-point run - to force Chicago State into a timeout with Florida ahead 13-4. With the Gators leading 23-10, Chicago State opened up a 4-0 run to cut the Florida lead to nine at 23-14 before kills from McCray and Collymore forced the Cougars into their final timeout. The teams traded points for the remainder of the game, and Florida took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 30-16 win in game two.

The Gators took a 2-0 lead on a Chicago State service error and a kill by Collymore following a long rally. The Cougars evened it up after a Gator service error and attack error. Chatman answered for Florida with a kill for the 3-2 Gator advantage. UF extended its lead to 5-2 on the serving of Jen Mandes, who relinquished her libero duties to Taylor Williams for the third game. Florida went on a 3-0 run that included a block from Jenkins and Collymore and a kill from Jenkins to take the 8-3 advantage. Chicago State then opened a 5-0 run to knot the game at 8-8 before Jenkins ended the run with a kill. The Cougars then scored two straight points to take their first lead since the opening stanza, but the Gators reclaimed the lead at 11-10 after a Chicago State hitting error and a kill from Sherri Williams. After trailing 10-9, Florida went on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good at 16-10. That is the closest the Cougars would get again, as the Gators wrapped up the win in the match with a 30-19 win in the final game.

For Chicago State (1-8), Stacey Cole registered 11 kills one service ace and two block assists for 3 points, while Shannon Georges added two solo blocks in the effort.

Florida faces North Carolina at 1 p.m. and host-school Northwestern at 8 p.m. Saturday to finish out the Wildcat Classic. All times are Eastern.

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