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Friday November 26, 1999VB Sweeps USF, Wise Collects 300th UF Win


University of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise picked up her 300th victory at Florida as the No. 4 Gators swept South Florida 15-7, 15-4, 15-8 in the Florida Volleyball Conference Challenge at Disney's Wide World of Sports Friday afternoon.

Wise is 381-93 overall in her career, while her Florida record stands at 300-30. She coached her 300th match as a Gator in the season-opener against No. 1 Penn State Aug. 27.

Senior Jenny Whitehead (Jenison, Mich./Jenison/Michigan State) led the attack for the Gators, finishing with nine kills on the day. Senior All-American Jen Sanchez (San Antonio, Texas/Providence) finished with a match-high hiting percentage of .857 (6-0-7) and 32 assists. Junior All-American candiate Heather Wright (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) hit .600 to finish with seven kills and five blocks.

For the match, the Gators (29-2) only had three unforced hitting errors, one in each game to hit .430. An 8-5 Florida blocking advangtage held the Bulls (15-17) to a .109 hitting efficiency.

"Statistically, to hit .430 against a good defensive team like USF says a lot about our patience. We are very good in that end of the game," Wise said. "Heather Wright continued to put up All-American numbers with seven kills and five blocks in three games. She had yet another performance typical of an All-American."

In game two, the Gators had an outstanding offensive effort, hitting a match-high .550. UF was led by Wright, who had a perfect hitting performance with four kills on four attempts while adding three blocks.

The Gators also out-blocked the Bulls 4 to 2.

The Florida Volleyball Conference Challenge, in its second year, matches teams from the Southeastern Conference and Conference USA this year.

In the first match of the day, Marquette (18-12) downed Kentucky (15-15), 3-0. Individual game scores were 15-10, 15-7 and 15-6.

Kentucky plays South Florida Saturday at noon. The Gators conclude the tournament against Marquette at 2 p.m.

The Gators are waiting their seeding in the NCAA Championship. The Sunshine Network will air the NCAA Volleyball Championship Selection show Sunday, Nov. 28 at 10 p.m., to announce the 64-team field. The Gators received the SECs automatic bid into the NCAA Championship after winning three matches in the league tournament Nov. 19-21.

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