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Sunday September 26, 2004No. 5 VB Moves To 10-1 With Win At LSU

BATON ROUGE, La.

No. 5 Florida had four players record at least eight kills, while the Gators out-blocked LSU 13.0-5.0 as Florida posted a 3-0 (30-20, 30-22, 30-25) win Sunday afternoon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Gators (10-1 overall, 2-0 SEC) extended their pair of NCAA record winning streaks as Florida won its 132nd straight conference regular season match and its 108th consecutive conference match overall in defeating LSU (9-2, 1-1) for the 18th straight time.

"This was as good a serving and blocking match as we've had all year," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "This was an impressive win for us because of the hurricane situation back home. The players' minds were on what's happening back home. I don't think we've ever had a team at Florida that could have done what we've done this season."

The Gators hit .312 to LSU's .098, while the Gators posted a season-high 24 block assists - led by senior middle blocker Sherri Williams (Orlando, Fla.) who posted a season-high 10 total blocks. Freshman Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) led the Gators with 11 kills, while senior middle blocker Michelle Chatman (Woodridge, Ill.) posted 10 kills. Junior outside hitter Jane Collymore's (Englewood, Colo.) streak of matches in double figures in kills ended at 14, but she posted 12 digs to lead the Gators.

Florida used a 5-0 run in the early stages of the first game in taking control before eventually putting the Tigers down 30-20. After falling behind 7-5 in the beginning stages, the Gators scored five straight points to take a 10-7 and Florida never trailed again. The Gators slowly extended their lead, scoring four of five points after LSU came within two at 10-8. The Tigers were as close as five at 20-15, but Florida closed out the game by scoring 10 of the next 15 points. Hampton paced the Gators with five kills in the game.

The Gators spotted the Tigers an early advantage in the second game before using an 8-0 midway through before winning the game 30-22. LSU built leads of 10-6 and 12-7 before Florida fought back within two at 13-11 and 14-12. Fueled by multiple blocks and the serving of Chatman, Florida reeled off eight consecutive points in turning a two-point deficit into a six-point lead at 20-14. The Tigers never narrowed the gap the rest of the game as Florida clinched the game on a kill by sophomore Stefanie Douglas (Temple, Texas).

Florida again pounced on LSU in game three as the Gators moved out to a 9-5 lead in the early stages. Florida later scored five of six points on the strength of kills from three different Gators to go ahead 15-9. Florida built its lead to 21-13 before LSU mounted a strong comeback, pulling within one at 21-20. But the Gators regrouped and outlasted the Tigers down the stretch as Florida scored points on three occasions via the block before Williams ended the match with a kill.

Florida returns to action for a non-conference matchup against Texas at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The contest will be carried live on Sunshine Network and will be broadcast on WRUF-AM 850 as well as www.GatorZone.com

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