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Friday December 5, 2003VB Sweeps UCF, Advances to Regional Semifinal

Gainesville, FL

Behind 10 kills and 12 digs from Aury Cruz and nine kills and 11 digs by Jane Collymore, the University of Florida volleyball team swept Central Florida 3-0 (30-19, 30-26, 30-21) to advance to the regional semifinal of the 2003 NCAA Tournament. The Gators' next opponent will be determined Saturday.

"I think this was a typical second round match. UCF did not disappoint. They had a great game plan. The difference in the match tonight was our ability to block balls and get some key kills. We did a good job against (Emily) Watts tonight. She has been playing at an all-world level the last few matches," said UF Head Coach Mary Wise.

Florida got on the board first in the match with a kill from Sherri Williams, and Michelle Chatman followed with a block for the quick 2-0 lead. After UCF scored on the next play, the Gators went on a 3-0 run for the 5-1 advantage. With a 17-10 lead, Florida then went on runs of four and six points to take a commanding 26-11 lead. The Gators finished out the game with a 30-19 win in the first game, and Florida's 10 blocks in the game is a season-high.

The second game was much more of a battle, as the two teams matched each other point for point until the Golden Knights took a 14-11 lead. Florida tied the game at 15-15 on a kill by Williams and took the lead on the next play on a UCF attack error. The Golden Knights knotted the game at 19-19, but Florida would rebuild a five-point lead and win game two 30-26.

The Gators took a quick three-point lead to begin the third game and had control for most of the game. After the Gators had a 9-3 lead, UCF came back to within two at 9-7 before Florida would score on the next play. The Gators went on a 4-0 run to take a 15-9 lead. From that point on, the Golden Knights would get no closer than five points, and the Gators wrapped up the match with a 30-21 win in game three.

For UCF, Tanya Jarvis and Amanda Stoutjesdyk each tallied eight digs, while Emily Watts added 15 digs, and Lindsey Whalen added 10.

Florida will also host the regionals next weekend, and the other three teams who will travel to Gainesville will be determined after Saturday's matches.

"We are thrilled to be playing at home next week. Unlike in years past we have known for some time now, since last Sunday," said Wise. "There is no substitution for playing at home in front of our fans. I'm hoping that Gator fans will help make up for Benavia's (Jenkins) absence."


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