Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Stars on Road for UF, Soccer Club

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Stars on Road for UF, Soccer Club

Article excerpt

Jenny Manz, a Middleburg High School graduate, continues

to make an impact on the nationally ranked Florida Gator

volleyball team. Manz, a sophomore, started this year as a

right side hitter after being the first substitute off the bench

in 1996 at the outside position.

Manz said there was less pressure on her this year as a starter

than there was as a substitute her freshman season.

"Last year, I had to come off the bench cold and try to provide

a spark for the team," Manz said. "This year I can start strong

because I am warmed up immediately."

The Gators, 34-4, reached the final four for the second

consecutive year before losing to Penn State in three games in

the match held at Spokane, Wash.

Florida, the SEC regular season champion, won at Wisconsin in

the regional finals to earn a return to the Final Four. The

Gators have yet to win a final four game in four attempts.

An All-SEC first team selection, Manz was among the team

leaders in several categories including second in kills, third

in assists, first in service aces and second in digs.

She also had double-digit kills in 22 of the last 26 matches

and 14 double-doubles (kill-digs) this year including the last

five straight. She was third in the SEC in aces per game.

Her season was even more impressive because she was moved from

the left side to the right side, a position that she had never

played before. Manz said the move was difficult because she had

to adjust her footwork and setting ability in order to learn the

position.

However, Gator coach Mary Wise said Manz is ready to reach her

potential.

"Jenny Manz will have a chance to be an All-American next

year," Wise said.

Manz downplayed her coach's compliment but she said confidence

made a difference in her play this year. She said her confidence

level rose during a Thanksgiving tournament in California.

"Even though we lost the match, I stepped up my game and played

my heart out," Manz said. "Confidence is 99 percent of

volleyball. Now I am asking to be set up rather than sitting

back. …

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