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Monday March 14, 2005VB Plays First Matches of 2005 Spring Season

LOUISVILLE, Ky.

The University of Florida volleyball team kicked off its 2005 spring schedule with a pair of contests against 2004 NCAA Championship participants Louisville and Missouri on March 12.

Playing at Louisville, the Gators beat the Cardinals 3-1 (30-28, 30-25, 15-10, 10-15) in the first match of the day before falling to Missouri 0-4 (29-31, 24-30, 13-15, 13-15). The contests provided a solid test for the Gators as Louisville finished the 2004 season 30-3 and advanced to the Sweet 16, while Missouri also made the NCAA Championship and ended the year with a 20-9 record.

"For our first competition, and it to come with only four days of practice, there were many positives," Florida coach Mary Wise said. "We have worked diligently on improving serve receive and we are certainly much further along in that department. Jane Collymore, particularly, had a great day passing. For our first competition of the spring, it was a good starting point."

Other highlights for the Gators included the offense of rising freshman outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.), who had 32 kills on 51 attempts and a .549 hitting efficiency. After missing the 2004 season due to injury, sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) returned to the floor and played every game with no problem. Rising freshman Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) also fared well for the Gators as she played both outside and in the middle.

Florida continues spring practice this week before hosting Berry College and Florida A&M on March 26. The matches will be played on the Stephen C. O'Connell practice courts and will begin at 9 a.m.

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