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UF volleyball overmatches short-handed Florida State

Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise had two words for Florida State coach Cecile Reynaud after Tuesday night's match: "Get healthy."

The Seminoles entered the match short two key players because of injuries. Freshman Katie Hemlepp and junior LaToya Presberry were sidelined, and leading hitter Aisha Thornton played only sparingly.

The No. 4 Gators took advantage in a 15-7, 15-5, 15-1 victory in front of 2,035 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The Gators (22-1) have won 14 straight matches, including two against Florida State (21-6). Florida defeated FSU 15-11, 15-11, 15-10 in Tallahassee in September.

"It certainly was a much different match than we played back in September because the teams were so different," Wise said. "That is not the same Florida State team that we played back in September and it definitely wasn't the same Florida State team that is 21-6."

After battling to win the first game, UF cruised with a 10-0 run in the second. The Gators, who committed just two errors in the final two games, forced the Seminoles into nine errors in the final game.

Senior Nina Foster led the Gators with 15 kills, and junior Jenni Keene had a game-high 17 digs. Holly Schneider led Florida State with nine kills and eight digs. The Seminoles posted a .065 hitting percentage on the night, compared with UF's .402 mark, and had 22 errors.

"I thought we had way too many hitting errors," Reynaud said. "And you can't do that against a team like Florida. I would say this is one of their better teams. They've grown a lot."

The Seminoles have not won in Gainesville since 1990 and have been swept in every meeting at UF since Wise's arrival in 1991. The Seminoles' lead in the all-time series fell to 21-20.

Reynaud said this UF team may be the most talented ever. She cited the Gators' balanced attack. Sophomore Jenny Manz, Foster and Keene all average double-digits in kills. As a team, UF hits nearly .300 from the floor.

"The great teams will have to have a go-to player," Wise said. "The strength of this team is we can get double-digit kills, double-digit digs, we can get blocks, aces and passing out of so many players."

Florida has three conference matches remaining and can seal the regular-season title with its next SEC win. A win Friday against Kentucky would give the Gators 49 straight in the SEC, tying their 1992-94 record.


FSU WOMEN LOSE: Host Florida State overcame a 19-point defict but lost its preseason opener 90-85 in overtime to Club Shelen of Russia. Sophomore Latavia Coleman led the Seminoles with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

NC-CHARLOTTE: G Sean Colson, the leading returning scorer, was suspended for more than two weeks for violating unspecified team policy. He will miss the Nov. 21 opener at Miami. Top freshman recruit Charles Hayward has acute myeloid leukemia. He is in chemotherapy at University Hospital in Charlotte, and doctors are optimistic.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Junior F Arthur Carlisle left the team and will transfer after the fall semester, coach Eddie Fogler said.

UCLA: Jelani McCoy, a two-year starter suspended from the team in September, reportedly flunked a drug test and is not expected to rejoin the Bruins. The school refused to comment on the report.


BOCKRATH ACCUSED: The NCAA accused Alabama athletic director Bob Bockrath of failing to act on rules violations at Texas Tech, where he worked before taking over an Alabama program rocked by a football rules scandal. Last month Bockrath said he accepted some responsibility for trouble at Texas Tech because "it occurred under my watch"; he did not return calls about the additional charges.

_ Information from Times wires was used in this report.