Thursday December 4, 2003VB Downs Ga. Southern, Moves to NCAA Second Round
Aury Cruz tallied 18 kills as UF swept Georgia Southern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament
Aury Cruz scored 19 points on 18 kills and one service ace, and Sherri Williams hit .706 with 14 kills as the third-ranked Florida volleyball team defeated Georgia Southern 3-0 (30-18, 30-18, 30-21) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gators will now face Central Florida on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Jane Collymore added 12 kills, and Jen Mandes led the team in digs with eight.
"I have become a huge fan of the job Kerry Messersmith is doing," said Florida head coach Mary Wise. "They have a great system, they play with so much emotion. I think it is a great way to play volleyball and my hat is off to the job they did. The key was what we could do against number 22 (Martina Vieglova), she was hitting .350 on the season. Could we keep her under .200 - that was the goal and the players really shot that one down."
The Gators (32-1) took control of the opening game from the start. With the score tied at 2-2, Florida reeled off nine of the next 10 points to take an 11-3 lead. Five different players tallied kills during the run. The two teams see-sawed the rest of the way before Florida closed out the game at 30-18 by winning the final three points, including the final two on kills from Cruz, who paced the Gators in the game with seven kills.
Florida again started quickly in the second game, reeling off four straight points early on to take a 5-2 lead. Highlighted by a service ace and one kill from Collymore, the Gators won eight of the next 10 points to go on top 11-4. After Georgia Southern (27-10) scored three of the next five, Florida rebounded with eight of the next 11 to take a 21-10 advantage. Collymore again led the charge with three kills during the stretch. Florida eventually won four of the last five points with a pair of kills from Cruz to win the second game 30-18. Collymore led the Gators with seven points and five kills.
After Georgia Southern got on the board first in the third game, Florida reeled off six straight points culminating with a Cruz service ace to take a 6-1 lead. The two teams traded points for the next few plays, and Florida slowly climbed out to a seven-point lead at 14-7. The Eagles mounted a comeback that got them to within two points at 16-14, causing the Gators to use a timeout to stop the run. After the stoppage, Florida took control of the momentum for good, outscoring Georgia Southern 14-7 to finish the match.
For the Eagles, Martin Vieglova tallied a team-high 11 kills and tied for the team high in digs with six., Megan Lippi also added six digs in the effort.
The University of Central Florida (23-6) opened up first- round action of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center with a 3-1 win (24-30, 26-30, 30-26, 30-27, 15-9) against Central Florida (27-6). Although it often trailed during the first two games, Cincinnati built a 2-0 lead in the match. Central Florida narrowly won the next two games to even the score before controlling the fifth and final game. UCF out-dueled the Bearcats in kills (79-63), assists (69-58), while Cincinnati finished ahead in digs (77-75) and blocks (14-8.5).