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Friday November 7, 2003VB Hands Arkansas First SEC Loss with 3-0 Win

Gainesville, FL

In a match featuring two teams that were unbeaten in Southeastern Conference play, the No. 3 Florida volleyball team continued its conference supremacy with a 3-0 (30-16, 30-15, 30-24) win against Arkansas on Friday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Florida (25-1, 13-0 SEC) has now won 73 consecutive games and extended its shutout streak to 24 matches with the win against Arkansas (19-5, 12-1 SEC).

"I think the match really was won on the serving and passing battles," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "They are a great serving team, but Jen (Mandes), Aury (Cruz) and Jane (Collymore) were solid in the passing game."

Sophomore outside hitter Jane Collymore led Florida with a match-high 13 kills and hit .435. Senior outside hitter Aury Cruz chipped in 11 kills while junior setter Lauren Moscovic provided 31 of the Gators' 39 assists and added four kills.

Florida fell behind 3-0 to begin the match before going on a 10-1 run. Collymore, who had six kills in the first game, had two kills as the Gators reeled off four consecutive points to take a 15-6 lead. The Gators took a 1-0 lead in the match after Cruz scored on a kill and an ace to end the first game. Jacque Robinson entered the match in the second game - her first action in more than a month.

The Gators fell behind Arkansas again in the second game, 2-0, before going on a 4-0 run to pull ahead of the Lady Backs. Another 4-0 run a point later, which put the Gators up 12-4, was sparked by points from junior middle blocker Sherri Williams, Collymore and Cruz. Cruz also accounted for three consecutive Florida scores on kills as it increased its lead to 26-13.

The final game was a battle, with Arkansas matching Florida point for point. After trailing by three, 13-10, the Gators went on a 5-0 run. Williams' block during the stretch gave Florida a 15-13 lead after playing catch-up for the early part of the game. The Lady Backs crawled within one, 24-23, of the Gators before Florida closed the game on a 6-1 run, securing the victory on two consecutive Arkansas wide attacks.

With the win, Florida's NCAA-record conference winning streak increases to 127 matches.

Coach Wise was honored on the court after the victory for collecting her 500th win at Tennessee last week.

The Gators return to action Sunday in their final home game to play Louisiana State at 1:30 p.m. The match will be preceded by a Senior-Day ceremony to honor Florida seniors Aury Cruz, Benavia Jenkins, Jen Mandes and Jacque Robinson.






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