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Thursday November 4, 1999Volleyball Within a Win of SEC Title, Sweeps Vols

Gainesville, FL

No. 4 Florida (22-2, 13-0 Southeastern Conference) took 15-4, 15-2, 15-5 sweep of Tennessee (17-11, 7-5 SEC) to come within one win of claiming its ninth consecutive outright Southeastern title and stretch its win streak to a league-best 18 matches Thursday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Seniors Jenny Manz (Orange Park, Fla./Middleburg) and Jenny Whitehead (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) led the way offensively. Manz pounded 12 kills for a .611 hitting percentage while adding two aces and seven digs. Whitehead posted 11 kills for .368 hitting percentage and three service aces.

Nicole McCray (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree) recorded a career-high .833 hitting percentage with 10 kills and no errors on 12 attempts. The Gators combined for a .465 hitting percentage, just .001 shy of their season-high.

Head Coach Mary Wise credited her team's hitting in the win. "Look at the number .465 (hitting percentage), and it tells the tale of the match in terms of how good we were offensively," Wise said. "We passed well against a good serving team, and it allowed us to distribute the ball."

In front of 2,464 fans, Florida dominated the Vols in virtually every category. The Gators posted 53 kills for a .465 hitting efficiency to Tennessee's 29 for a .172 attack percentage while adding a team total of 37 digs and four blocks to the Vols' 15 digs and three team blocks.

Florida jumped out to an early lead in Game 1, led by Whitehead who posted eight kills for a .545 hitting percentage. The Gators held Tennessee to a .138 hitting percentage and doubled the Vols in kills with 18 to take the 15-4 win.

The Gators held Tennessee to just two points in the second game scoring six points before Tennessee could respond to cruise to the 15-2 win. Manz drilled six kills for a .556 hitting percentage and added two digs. Florida continued to dominate in the third game to take the 15-5 victory.

Florida concludes the regular season in SEC action as it faces Kentucky (12-11, 5-6 SEC) Sunday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats will play at Florida A&M Friday before coming to the O'Connell Center. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live.

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