Wildcat Volleyball Rallies To Defeat Florida, 3-2

Nov. 8, 2000

TUCSON, Ariz.- The third-ranked Arizona volleyball team rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the ninth-ranked Florida Gators 13-15, 14-16, 15-11, 15-5, 15-13 at McKale Center Tuesday night. The non-conference victory was Arizonas seventh win this season over a top 25 team and the third over a team in the top 10. The Wildcats improved their record to 22-2 while snapping the Gators 15-match win streak with the victory.

Arizona appeared to be out of sync in the first two games committing a number of errors at the net and seven errors from the service line. With game one tied at eight, the Gators took advantage of the Wildcat miscues going on a 5-1 run and held on to win the first stanza. The Wildcats appeared to have game two wrapped up with a 6-0 run to advance to game point 14-8, but could only watch as Florida ran off eight straight points to steal the victory from the stunned Cats 16-14.

With their backs to the wall, the Wildcats returned from the locker room after the break a changed team. Jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead, Arizona exchanged points with Florida before putting the game away 15-11.

The Gators pulled ahead 2-0 in the fourth game, but the lead would be short-lived, as Arizona went on a streak of 13 unanswered points and would finish off the game easily, tying the match at two. The rally-scored fifth game was tight all the way. Arizonas lead of five points at 11-6 was the largest margin either team would have in the deciding frame. The Wildcats would advance to game point 14-12, but the Gators pressed on, drawing the score to 14-13 and appeared to even the match when setter Kris Bova sent the ball over the net and the Wildcat defense into Arizonas backcourt for the apparent game tying score. Floridas celebration would be short lived, however as referee Peter Meyer called Bova for an illegal back row hit, negating Floridas point and handing the match to Arizona 15-13.

The Wildcats hit .287 for the match, their second lowest attack percentage of the season, with 87 kills on 202 attempts and 29 errors.

Individually, Arizona had four players record double digit kills and another three in double figure digs. Senior Allison Napier had 21 kills to lead the Cats, followed by Lisa Rutledges 18, Jill Talbots 17 and Marisa DaLees 12, Talbot also tallied a match-high 19 digs. Christina Frost, filling in for defensive specialist Elvina Clark, came through with a career-high 13 digs, while Dana Burkholder missed out on her third triple double of the season recording 12 digs, 62 assists and nine kills.

The Wildcats will take to the road this weekend as they travel to Los Angeles, Calif., in search of their first Pac-10 championship when they take on No.6 USC on Friday and No.7 UCLA on Saturday.

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