Saturday September 18, 1999Volleyball Hands UCSB First Loss of Season
No. 6 Florida (8-2, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) handed No. 9 UCSB (9-1, 0-0 Big West) its first loss of the season in five games to win the championship of the University Centre Invitational Saturday at the Stephen C. O'Connell. Florida is now 3-2 against Top 25 opponents.
The Gators had five starters posting double-digit kills and four players with double-doubles. Jenny Whitehead (Jenison, Mich./Jenison/Michigan State) and Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) were both selected to the All-Tournament team. Hattendorf recorded her third double-double of the year with 11 kills and 13 digs. Whitehead posted her fourth double-double as she pounded 22 kills for a .263 attack percentage while adding two block assists and two solo blocks.
UCSB's Roberta Gehlke was named tournament Most Valuable Player after leading all hitters with 36 kills for a .301 attack percentage while adding 21 digs.
Florida Head coach Mary Wise credited UCSB's defense, but praised the Gators for tough blocking. "We won't play another team all season or many others who'll play as fine a defense as UCSB," she said. "The difference in the match had to be the 20 team blocks and our ability to block balls at key times."
In game one, Florida had trouble handling UCSB's serve as the Gauchos posted five aces. Jenny Manz and Jenny Whitehead answered offensively combining for 13 kills with both posting a .333 attack percentage. Defensively, Nicole McCray and Manz had two block assists each to hold off UCSB's Roberta Gehlke who had six kills on the game.
Gehlke continued to pace UCSB in the second game posting nine kills. Florida was held to a .128 team hitting percentage as the Gauchos scored five unanswered points late in the game to take the 15-7 win.
The Gators trailed most of the third game, but Jenny Manz (Orange Park, Fla./Middleburg) sparked Florida offensively with four key kills and a block late in the game to set the stage for the comeback 15-12 win.
UCSB scored eight unanswered points in the fourth game en route to the 15-6 win. Scoring was point-for-point in game five rally-scoring as Florida eventually put the Gauchos away 16-14.
Florida's Jen Sanchez (San Antonio, Texas/Providence) had 67 assists and a career-high tying 23 digs. Manz posted 22 kills and 20 digs. The senior had a season-high seven block assists. Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) pounded 11 kills and had seven block assists, tying her season-high.
Other All-Tournament selections included Iowa State's Stacy Nicks, UCSB's Brooke Rundle and Butler's Lynze Lysen.
In today's consolation match, Butler (4-7, 0-0 Midwestern Collegiate) swept Iowa State (2-4, 0-0 Big 12) by scores of 15-8, 15-8 and 15-2. The Bulldogs were led by freshman Lynze Lysen who pounded 13 kills for a .344 hitting percentage and added 10 digs. Brianne Faust and Keely Norris added nine and eight kills, respectively.
Iowa State's Shayla Lopez posted 12 kills with four errors in 32 attempts for a .250 attack percentage while addding 10 digs. Sarah Rollman had 11 kills, six digs, one block assist and one solo block to lead the Cyclones.
The Gators open conference play with No. 20 Arkansas Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:45 p.m. in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live. FoxSports Net South will broadcast the match to be aired on the Sunshine Network live. For tickets call 1-800-34-Gator (in Florida only) or (352) 375-GoUF.