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Compiled from school press releases
Published November 5, 2007


South Florida

Women's basketball

USF Women Get Considerable Game Situation Work Against Miami Sun

The outcome of today's women's basketball exhibition game between the University of South Florida and the Miami Sun was not as important as preparation for the extremely demanding 2007-08 season that the Bulls will face beginning on Nov. 13. Beginning with the season opener, USF will play five games in an eight day stretch.

Despite dropping its lone exhibition of the season this afternoon, 65-63, USF head coach Jose Fernandez was looking more at the "Big Picture" with today's outing.

"We played half court man-to-man defense the whole time this afternoon because we really wanted to look at our half court and what we wanted to do defensively to start the season," said Fernandez. "If you look at our minutes we played everybody, because we wanted to make sure that all of our players saw the same amount of time, and we did that."

"We also wanted to look at some specific things defensively that our opponents may use against us," said Fernandez. "We're going to see a ton of zone this year, so we told them (Miami Sun) play us 2-3 and 3-2 zone so we can get a lot of work on that."

Despite wanting to look at specific areas against the Sun, there we still some areas that were cause for concern for the staff.

"I know this is an exhibition game and you want to get some positives out of it, but we still had 27 turnovers, so that's a big concern," said Fernandez. "We also shot the ball very poorly 18-of-65 from the floor, 8-of-31 from three-point range, for 27.7 percent. So right now we're still trying to find some good rotation and a good lineup for our team right now. I think that we have a very talented team and a lot of pieces but it's putting those pieces together, that's the big thing."

The Bulls jumped out to a seven point lead, 16-9, with 9:54 left in the first half on a three-point shot by Jazmine Sepulveda. The Sun, however would come back to cut the lead to one-point, twice, in the final 2:12 of the first half before USF would take a 32-29 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

The Bulls would come out in the second half and never really got on track. USF would equal its biggest lead of the game, seven points, on another trey by Sepulveda with 14:45 left in the contest.

Neither team would lead by more than points the rest of the way, while the Bulls and Sun would tie the score five of the seven times in the final 10 minutes of play.

Gianna Messina would pull the Bulls even for the final time hitting the second of two free throws with 46 seconds left.

After Tombi Bell gave the Sun their final lead of the game, USF had two chances to win it in the last seven seconds however Shantia Grace and Jessica Lawson both missed in their attempts as time ran out.

Junior college transfer Jazmine Sepulveda would finish the game with a team-high 13 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in 28 minutes of action. Messina would also hit double digits with 11 points.

ChiChi Okpaleke grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in the loss.

USF opens the 2007-08 regular season on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. when they butt heads with in-state foe Bethune-Cookman.

USF will also serve as the host institution of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four, April 6 & 8 at the Forum.

For season or individual game ticket information, please call 1-800-GoBulls.

 

Florida

Women's soccer

No. 22 Florida Soccer Defeats Vanderbilt 3-0; Gators Win SEC Title

A 3-0 win over Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon completed the Gators' ascension from the bottom to the top of the league standings, as the No. 22 University of Florida soccer team (13-4-2, 9-2 SEC) claimed its second consecutive and eighth overall Southeastern Conference title.

Both teams came into Sunday's match at the James G. Pressly Stadium looking for the win. Florida needed the three points awarded for a win to move past first-place Georgia in the SEC standings. Vanderbilt (6-10-3, 3-6-2 SEC) was ninth in the SEC standings and needed three points to move past Kentucky for the eighth and final berth in the Nov. 7-11 SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala. With Sunday's win, Florida claimed the SEC title with 27 points, followed by Georgia (26 points) and Tennessee (25 points). Florida enters the SEC Tournament as the top seed.

After a tightly played scoreless opening half, Florida scored in the 66th minute. Ameera Abullah took a shot off of Megan Kern's corner kick, but her shot was deflected. The ball was still alive in the box, but Lauren Hyde's shot also was deflected. Ashlee Elliott found it in the scrum, placing the eight-yard shot in the far post upper slot. Elliott has scored a goal in each of Florida's last three matches and now totals four for the season.

"It was a jumbled ball. Lauren Hyde tried to take a shot and it got deflected off and I actually asked her to pass it. It was closer to me, so I just took it and ripped it," Elliott said. "It went into the right hand corner."

Just a bit over seven minutes later, Florida struck again when Abullah scored on her low 14-yard shot off a one v one situation with the Commodore goalkeeper. Her goal at 72:09 was her second in the last five matches. Stacy Bishop assisted on the goal, sending the ball to Abdullah who was able to outrun her defender to gain control and place the ball in the goal untouched.

"I was in the middle of the field and I saw her go so I just took a touch. She did a good job getting to it and getting a hold of it and scoring," Bishop said. "She really did a good job on that."

The Gators were awarded a free kick right at the top of the VU box in the 74th minute after Audrey Nonemaker was given a yellow card when she fouled KeLeigh Hudson. Stacy Bishop scored on the 18-yard shot, moving her into a tie for the Gators' goal lead with seven. It was her first free kick goal of the season.

"I was just was trying to place it," Bishop said. "The keeper left the whole side open so I tried to put it in there."

At the end of September when the Gators opened SEC play with two road losses (at Georgia, 2-1; at Tennessee, 2-0), retaining the SEC title seemed unlikely. At no time prior to Sunday afternoon did Florida hold a spot better than third in the league standings. But after that opening weekend of league play, the team strung together nine consecutive wins - including eight shutouts - to claim the title. The script of this season's SEC title makes it special for UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh, who has led the Gators to each of the program's eight league titles.

"I think this one is really special considering the circumstances in which we won it - losing the first two games in the first weekend and then having to kind of battle back each week. We had to keep the faith that we still would have a chance to win it," Burleigh said. "We had a little chat as a team right after the Tennessee loss and we just said that we are playing too well for this not to turn around and we just had to keep the faith and work really hard to make it happen. I think the team really bought into that and believed that so they deserve big credit for believing that it was possible."

For KeLeigh Hudson, one of the eight Gators that were honored in the team's pre-match Senior Day celebration, winning the 2007 title required the team to take it one match at a time after the disappointing opening weekend of league play.

"I wanted to imagine that it would happen. That's what kept everything alive in us to be able to believe that we could come back and win the championship," she said. "We put those losses behind us and went on and did the best we could. We hoped it would all fall into place if we just kept playing well.

"We controlled our own fate. If we won this game, we would win the championship and be able to celebrate it on our Senior Day, at home with all of our fans and family," she continued. "It is a great feeling to be able to celebrate it at home."

Next up, the Gators open SEC Tournament play with Kentucky (10-6-3, 4-6-1 SEC) on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The Wildcats enter the SEC Tournament on a five-match unbeaten streak and defeated Vanderbilt 1-0 in their regular-season finale on Nov. 2. Match time is set for 6 p.m. at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala. Match statistics plus streaming audio of the UF-UK match can be found on www.GatorZone.com.

 

Women's golf

Women's Golf Blanks Louisville in First-Round Action

The fifth-ranked Florida women's golf team brought out the brooms and dispatched No. 15 seed Louisville, courtesy of a 5-0-0 sweep in the opening round at the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship Sunday morning. The Lady Gators advanced in the bracket to take on conference rival and 10th-seeded Alabama this afternoon. Alabama upset No. 7 seed Vanderbilt, 4-1-0.

The Florida rotation wasted little time jumping on the Cardinals, controlling leads and not relinquishing shots as the round wore on. The Lady Gators had only one match go down to the wire as redshirt junior Ornella Jouven (La Ciotat, France) rallied from a two-hole deficit to pull all-square with three holes remaining and take the lead with two holes left as Laura Anderson double-bogeyed.

Two-time All-American and senior Sandra Gal (Leichlingen, Germany) ended her match early versus Sara Maude-Juneau, taking the lead from the first hole and cruised to a 4 and 3 victory.

Tiffany Chudy (Miramar, Fla.) retired to the clubhouse before her showdown ended, taking early control against Louisville's Cindy LaCrosse. Chudy took the lead on her second hole, leading by as many as five holes and won the match 3 and 2.

True freshman Jessica Yadloczky (Casselbery, Fla.) opened her first-round setup trailing Jenny Calkins after the first hole but quickly got things rolling as she re-gained the lead and also prevailed 3 and 2.

Redshirt sophomore Brittany Nelson (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) also fell behind after the first hole but charged back as she built a four-hole lead and won her matchup against Amanda Henry 4 and 3.

Live scoring can be followed live on www.golfstat.com.

Women's Golf Takes Second-Round Lead Over Alabama

The fifth-ranked Florida women's golf team continued its strong push at the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship Sunday, taking a lead against Alabama as the second round was suspended due to darkness. The Lady Gators swept No. 15 Louisville, 5-0-0, in their first-round matchup at the Ginn Reunion Resort.

Jessica Yadloczky (Casselberry, Fla.) moved to 2-0 on the tournament, defeating her second-straight SEC opponent in the only match that was completed before darkness set in. Yadloczky jumped out to take the lead and extended her lead to five holes before she clinched on hole 14.

Senior Sandra Gal (Leichlingen, Germany) is in prime position to take her second match of the event as well, up four holes against Kathleen Ekey.

Ornella Jouven (La Ciotat, France) is again engaged in a tight battle, this time with Laura Goodwin. Jouven's first-round matchup went down to the wire as she edged out Louisville's Laura Anderson earlier today in all 18 holes.

Tiffany Chudy (Miramar, Fla.) is also in position to get her second win, clinging on to a one-hole advantage against Helena Blomberg.

If Florida prevails over the Crimson Tide, it will advance to the

semifinals to face the winner of No. 3 Auburn and No. 6 Georgia.

The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning. The third round is scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 a.m.

For up-to-date results and status of matches, please visit www.golfstat.com.

 

Volleyball

McCray and Rivers Propel No. 10 VB To Sweep Of Arkansas

Senior opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) recorded a match-high 14 kills and freshman outside hitter Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) posted her third-career double-double on Sunday to lead the 10th-ranked University of Florida volleyball team to a 3-0 (30-28, 30-23, 30-25) win over Arkansas at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

With 14 kills on .462 hitting, McCray was part of a UF attack that posted a .339 mark on the day. Junior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.) hit .529 to lead the way for five Gators who hit better than .300. Florida's defense was also active on Sunday, recording 10.0 total blocks to mark the team's seventh-straight outing with a double-figure block total. UF (22-1, 15-1 Southeastern Conference) also held a 50-42 dig margin on the afternoon.

"A 3-0 score doesn't really tell the whole story of what happened today," Florida head coach Mary Wise said. "That was some pretty good volleyball. We tried to downplay the revenge factor all week, but we played with just the right amount of emotion and used it to our advantage."

Rivers finished the day with 11 kills and a career-high-tying 10 digs, while also chalking up a pair of blocks. Senior outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) chipped in with kills on the day, while Bowers had nine and senior middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) chipped in with eight.

Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Elyse Cusack (Melrose, Fla.) tallied a team-high 14 digs on the day, and senior setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) handed out a match-best 48 assists. Bowers led the way with five blocks - leaving her just three shy of 300 for her career - and Killingsworth finished the day with four.

Florida's win clinched a share of the SEC East title, and the Gators would clinch a share of the overall SEC crown if Alabama were to lose on Sunday afternoon.

UF found itself facing a 9-3 deficit in the early stages of the opening game, but a pair of kills by McCray and one by McCray helped UF pull within three at 12-9. A back-row kill by Hampton and an Arkansas' attack error brought the Gators to within a point at 14-13, but the Lady 'Backs fought back to increase their lead to 20-16. Florida roared back to tie the match at 23-23 on Bowers' fourth kill of the game, forcing an Arkansas timeout, and captured the lead just minutes later when Killingsworth and Hampton teamed up on a block to make the score 25-24. Hampton provided three kills of her four game-one down the stretch for the Gators, including the game-winner, as UF ended the frame on a 14-8 run to take the opener, 30-28. Rivers recorded five kills to lead an Orange and Blue attack that hit .359 in the game.

McCray got the Gators on the board in game two with her fifth kill of the afternoon, and Bowers, Hampton, Killingsworth and Rivers each added one of their own before Bowers and Rivers tag-teamed a block to tie the score at 8-8. Florida took its first lead of the stanza at 10-9 on a kill by McGinnis, and back-to-back Killingsworth kills helped UF maintain a one-point edge at the 13-12 mark. Kills by McCray and Hampton helped the home team open up a 15-12 lead, but UA battled back with a 4-0 run to take a 16-15 advantage. McCray and Bowers fired kills on consecutive rallies to give Florida a 19-18 lead, and an Arkansas attack error on the next series gave UF a two-point edge and prompted a UA timeout. A block assist by Killingsworth and McGinnis pushed Florida's lead to 24-21, and Arkansas was forced to burn its second timeout of the game just minutes later when Hampton slammed home an overpass to make the score 26-21. Rivers forced game point at 29-23 with her ninth kill of the afternoon, setting the stage for McCray and Bowers to send the match into the intwin for UF. McCray led all players with five kills in the second stanza, while Bowers posted three block assists to pace a Florida defense that limited UA to a .029 hitting percentage.

UF took its first lead of game three at 5-4 on a kill down the middle by Killingsworth, but the Gators found themselves trailing by a score of 15-10 at the midway point of the frame. A block assist by Bowers and McGinnis preceded a Hampton block solo to bring the Gators within four at 17-13, and a pair of McCray kills helped UF pull within two points at the 20-18 mark. McCray's 13th kill of the match tied the score at 20-20 and Rivers followed up with a kill of her own to give Florida a 21-20 lead and cap an 8-2 UF run. Arkansas came back to tie the match at 25-25, but Hampton took charge of the match from that point, ripping four straight kills to force game point at 29-25 before the Gators closed out the win on an Arkansas attack error. McCray and Hampton both had five kills in the decisive game, as McGinnis handed out 15 assists in a .282 hitting effort.

UF will hit the road next weekend for its final SEC road trip of the season, opening the action on Friday night at Tennessee. WRUF-AM 850 will carry the action, which will begin at 7 p.m. ET, and the call can also be found at www.GatorZone.com.

 

Men's tennis

Florida Men's Tennis Newcomer Alex Lacroix Wins Singles Main Draw At

Seminole Invitational

University of Florida men's tennis freshman Alex Lacroix (Paris, France) picked up a pair of wins over a pair of Georgia players on Sunday to take the singles main draw title at the Seminole Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla.

Lacroix opened play on Sunday in the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Bulldog Nate Schnugg (No. 58). In the finals, Lacroix edged Schnugg's teammate Jamie Hunt (No. 64) in the second set of the finals for a 6-1, 7-6 win.

Lacroix opened play at the event on Friday by advancing when Ole Miss' Kalle Norberg retired with Lacroix leading in the first set, 5-3. Lacroix made his way into the quarterfinals Friday afternoon when Miami's Vivek Subramanian also retired with Lacroix leading in the third set 3-6, 6-3, 4-0.

On Saturday, Lacroix defeated Harvard's 77th-ranked Chris Clayton in three sets (6-7, 6-3, 6-1) to earn a semifinal appearance.

Complete results from the Seminole Invitational will be available on www.GatorZone.com as they become available.

 

Tampa

Volleyball

Tampa Claims Third Straight Conference Title

The top-ranked University of Tampa (26-2, 13-1 SSC) volleyball team captured their third straight and 17th overall Sunshine State Conference championship with a 3-1 victory over Saint Leo University (24-10, 6-7 SSC). The Spartans have now won 11 of the past 12 SSC titles, with the exception being a second place finish in 2004.

UT enjoyed a fast start as it won game one by a score of 30-14. The Spartans went on a 7-2 run to begin the match and used a .481 hitting percentage to close out the initial game. On the game, the Lions were held to just a .107 clip.

The Lions rebounded in the second game as they held the lead for the majority of the game until Tampa went on a 7-2 run to take a 26-25 lead, its first since leading 1-0. At 28-28, the Spartans then won the next two points to claim the 30-28 victory.

The outcome was reversed in game three as the Lions turned an 18-15 deficit into a 25-22 lead after going on a 10-4 run. Saint Leo held on to register a 30-28 victory in the game. In the game, SLU held the Spartans to a match low .157 attack percentage.

Game four witnessed a rejuvenation of the Spartans as UT quickly got out to a 14-5 lead. The advantage was then stretched to 11 as Tampa took a commanding 17-6 lead. The lead was as many as 19 points for the Spartans, who had no trouble finishing out the Lions with a 30-11 game four win.

Tampa was led by Erin Clark, who registered a team-high 20 kills to go with a .545 attack percentage. Katelen Dixon contributed 15 kills as Alisha Green added 14 and Danielle MacDonald had 10. Gabriela Saade accounted for a team high 58 assists.

Margeaux Sinibaldi registered her fourth consecutive 20-plus dig performance and second in as many days with a team-high 21 while Dixon had 16 to claim a double-double. Green led the Spartans with two blocks.

The Spartans now head to Miami Shores for a meeting with Barry on Friday at 7 p.m. UT then concludes the regular season on Saturday at Lynn in a 4 p.m., meeting with the Fighting Knights.

 

Men's soccer

Spartans Capture First Sunshine State Conference Crown Since 2001

The University of Tampa men's soccer team (12-5) handed the Lynn Fighting Knights (15-2-1) their second loss of the season in the final of the Sunshine State Conference tournament by a score of 4-2. The win marks the second victory over Lynn this season, and gives the Spartans their first SSC title since the National Championship season of 2001.

Ricardo Cardoso reached double figures in goals with his tenth of the season in the 14th minute off a cross from fellow striker Clevon George, giving the Spartans the early 1-0 lead. Cardoso found the back of the net again in the 35th minute, this time off a Dan Ingvarsson free kick, extending Tampa's advantage to 2-0 heading into halftime.

Lynn's Sam Craven cut the Spartans lead in half with his first goal of the season in the 54th minute, taking a free kick from Nano Short and putting it into the open net.

Ingvarsson scored what proved to be the game-winner when he converted a penalty kick in the 67th minute, giving Tampa the 3-1 lead. Short cut the Spartan advantage to 3-2 two minutes later, scoring an unassisted goal off a deflected pass for his seventh of the year.

Kevin Sierra found the back of the net for the fifth time this season in the 73rd minute, accepting a cross from Pascal Milien and putting it neatly off the right post to give the Spartans the final margin of 4-2.

Ryan Thompson allowed two goals and made three saves to improve his perfect season record to 4-0. With his assist on Sierra's goal, Milien regained the team-lead in assists with his sixth of the season. Cardoso now stands at 25 goals in his two-year career at Tampa, good for eighth all-time in the program's history.

Tampa returns to the pitch next weekend in the NCAA South Regional at a site to be determined.

Women's soccer

Marissa Mohammed's Overtime Goal Seals SSC Championship for Spartans

After 92 minutes of scoreless play, The University of Tampa women's soccer team captured its third consecutive Sunshine State Conference tournament title on a goal my Marissa Mohammed.

With the victory, the Spartans have concluded the sweep of both the SSC regular season and tournament championships.

The game-winning goal, which was assisted by Shelby Kuni, came off a rebound at the beginning of the first overtime period. Kuni's assist, coupled with a goal in the semifinal, sealed the MVP award for the junior from Houston, Texas.

Shannon Aitken registered her second consecutive shutout, making three saves on the game. The Spartans outshot the Lions 14-4 on the contest, including 5-3 on goal.

The Spartans advance to the NCAA South Regional, where the opponent and location have yet to be announced. The regional is scheduled for November 9-11.

The 2007 Sunshine State Conference all-tournament team is as follows:

Shelby Kuni, Tampa (MVP)

Courtney Evans (Tampa)

Evelina Viiri (Saint Leo)

Marissa Mohammed (Tampa)

Lauren Hudson (Saint Leo)

Ginger Davenport (Saint Leo)

Hannah Beard (Saint Leo)

Emily Stack (Tampa)

Ashley Flateland (Tampa)

Lindsay Giblin (Rollins)

Kelly Diershow (Nova Southeastern)