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Friday October 17, 2003VB Sets School Record in 3-0 Win Over MSU

Starkville, MS

Aury Cruz tallied 18.5 points on a match-high 15 kills and three service aces, and Jane Collymore added 13 points on 12 kills and one service ace as the third-ranked Florida volleyball team swept Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State 3-0 (30-11, 30-22, 30-20) Friday in Starkville, Miss. The sweep sets a Florida school record for most consecutive sweeps with 18.

Michelle Chatman added 12 points on nine kills and six block assists, and Sherri Williams tied her career high in blocks with seven.

The Gators (19-1, 7-0 SEC) got on the board first with a 3-0 run that included a Gator kill and two Bulldogs attack errors. After Mississippi State (1-16, 0-7 SEC) answered with two straight points, Florida went on a 5-0 run including kills from Sherri Williams and Collymore and a Lauren Moscovic service ace to take an 8-2 lead. That run forced the Bulldogs to take an early timeout. The Gators continued to roll after the stoppage, adding three more points before Mississippi State got the serve back. Florida extended its lead to double digits as Chatman notched a kill to give the Gators the 14-4 advantage. Three blocks, two kills and a service ace by Cruz later, Florida had pulled out to a 14-point lead at 18-4. Behind the serving of Cruz, the Gators forced the Bulldogs into their final timeout of the game after taking a 21-4 lead. In all, Cruz served 11 points before Rhian Davis entered for her. Davis scored a service ace on her first serve, continuing the incredible service run. After the Bulldogs scored on the next play, Taylor Williams and Stefanie Douglas came in for the Gators, and Taylor Williams promptly added another service ace to her season total. The Gators eventually took game one 30-11.

Game two began more slowly for the Gators, as the teams battled back and forth until the Gators led 7-6. Florida then went on a 5-0 run that included a kill by Cruz, a block by Sherri Williams and Moscovic and an ace by Benavia Jenkins. With a 13-8 lead, the Gators scored two straight, including another service ace by Cruz, before forcing Mississippi State into a timeout. The Gators pulled out to a 16-9 lead, but the Bulldogs began a comeback with a 3-1 run to close to within four at 17-13. Jenkins answered with a kill to give the Gators the 18-13 advantage, but Florida gave the point back on a service error. Mississippi State got as close as three at 18-15 before the Gators moved out to a five-point advantage at 20-15. The Bulldogs would not quit, though, working their way back to just a two-point deficit at 21-19 before a Cruz kill stopped the Mississippi State run. After Florida took a 24-20 lead, the Bulldogs answered with two consecutive points to close to within two at 24-22 and force the Gators to burn a timeout. Florida scored on the first play out of the timeout on a Chatman kill and added another point on a Bulldog attack error. Jenkins and Moscovic combined for a block on the next play to take a 27-22 lead, and Mississippi State promptly used a timeout to try to stop Florida's momentum. A Collymore kill, a Bulldog attack error and an illegal contact call on Mississippi State ended the second game, as Florida took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 30-22 win in the second stanza.

Jenkins started off the third game with a kill to give the Gators the 1-0 lead. Mississippi State scored on the next play, but Florida scored the next two for the 3-1 advantage. As she'd done all night, Cruz began a long service run that included a kill and ace and a Collymore kill before the Bulldogs took a timeout with Florida leading 9-2. On the ensuing play, Collymore drove home a kill with authority, and after a long rally, Cruz notched a kill to push the Gator lead to 11-2. The Bulldogs worked their way back to a seven-point deficit at 13-6 and 14-7, but the Gators pushed out to a double-digit lead at 18-8. For the second time in the game, Florida doubled the Bulldog's point total at 22-11. On the next play, Amber McCray tallied her first kill of the night to give the Gators the 23-11 advantage. Florida closed out the match with a 30-20 win in game three.

For the Bulldogs, Nicole Broome notched a team-high 12 kills, while Tanika Taylor added nine digs in the effort.

The Gators close out their four-match road swing Sunday at Mississippi. First serve is at 2:30 p.m. EST.


Florida Notes

  • Florida set the school record for most consecutive sweeps at 18. The current streak began with a 3-0 win over Rutgers on Aug. 29. The school record for most sweeps in a season is 30, set in 1995.
  • The Gators tallied nine blocks in the first game - more than they've recorded in seven matches this season.
  • Seven different Gators tallied a block on the night.
  • Sherri Williams tied her career-high with seven blocks.
  • The last time Florida dropped a game to Mississippi State was in 1989.


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