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Sunday November 7, 1999Volleyball Sweeps Kentucky For SEC Title

Gainesville, FL

Senior Jenny Manz (Orange Park, Fla./Middleburg) pounded 17 kills as Florida (23-2, 14-0 SEC) posted a sweep of Kentucky (13-12, 5-7 SEC) Sunday en route to the Gators' ninth consecutive Southeastern Conference title Sunday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Florida continued its league leading 19-match win streak and recorded its 14th straight SEC victory, marking its fifth straight undefeated conference season. The Gators have been perfect in seven seasons under Coach Mary Wise (1992-93, 1995-99).

"To win a SEC championship 3-0, I felt like we played OK. We certainly played well enough to win," Wise said. "Kentucky, with the exception of Game 2, made some adjustments and did some good things that forced us to adjust."

Manz led all hitters with a .517 hitting percentage with five assists, four digs and three block assists.

Florida bested Kentucky in virtually every category recording 55 kills for a .356 team hitting percentage to UK's 30 kills and .118 hitting percentage. The Gators out-dug the Wildcats 35 to 29 and out-blocked them 10-3.

Junior Heather Wright (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) moved into the fourth spot on Florida's career blocks chart with one solo block and four block assists against Kentucky bringing her total to 377. The nation's leader in hitting efficiency also had six kills for a .286 hitting percentage on the day.

The Gators struggled early offensively in the first game, but scored seven unanswered points fueled by Manz to take the 15-8 win. Manz posted five kills and added three digs to lead the defensive effort.

Florida took control of Game 2 scoring five points before the Wildcats responded. Jenny Whitehead (Jenison, Michigan/ Jenison) pounded five kills to hit .571 and posted three service aces as the Gators held Kentucky to a .045 hitting percentage for the 15-2 victory.

Florida led by as many as six in the third game, but Kentucky fought to close the gap to within two (7-5) before the Gators pulled away for the 15-6 win. Junior Jerilyn Hattendorf (St. Charles, Ill./ St. Charles) sparked the offense with eight kills.

Florida faces in-state rival Florida State (8-19, 1-13 Atlantic Coast Conference) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in its final regular season home match. The Class of Three Jennies will be honored in a special Senior Night presentation. WRUF-AM 850 will broadcast the match live from the O'Connell Center.

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