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Mary Wise will guide her Gators into the Gainesville Regional

Wednesday December 6, 2006VB Welcomes No. 1 Nebraska, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 16 San Diego For Gainesville Regional

GAINESVILLE, Fla.

Mary Wise will guide her Gators into the Gainesville Regional

The ninth-seeded University of Florida volleyball team will welcome No. 1 Nebraska, No. 8 Minnesota and No. 16 San Diego to Gainesville for the 2006 NCAA Gainesville Regional beginning on Thursday when the teams will conduct open practices at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

 

Thursday's practices - which are free and open to the public - begin at 12:15 p.m. when San Diego takes the court. USD will practice until 1:45 p.m. before Nebraska takes the floor from 2-3:30 p.m. Florida practices from 3:45-5:15 p.m. before Minnesota wraps things up with a 5:30-7 p.m. practice.

 

Regional play kicks off on Friday when the Huskers face San Diego at 4:30 p.m. at the O'Connell Center. The Gators will then attempt to remain undefeated at home in 2006 by taking on Minnesota at 7 p.m. Video of both matches can be seen for free by logging onto www.gatorvision.tv. Audio of UF's match will be broadcast on Rock 104 as well as www.GatorZone.com.

 

The winning teams will meet at 4 p.m. on Saturday in an ESPNU televised contest for the right to advance to the 2006 Final Four in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

Tickets are still available for the Gainesville Regional and can be purchased by calling 1-800-34-GATOR or at the O'Connell Center Gate 1 box office beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $15 for an adult (all-session), $10 for a student/senior (all-session) and $8 for youth 12 & under (all-session). Single day tickets are $10 (adults), $7 (student/seniors) and $5 (youth 12 & under).

 

The first 300 University of Florida students will be admitted to the contest for free on both Friday and Saturday. Students will need to enter the O'Connell Center at Gate 3.

 

On Wednesday, it was announced that last minute tickets for the NCAA Volleyball Championship in Omaha will be made available on Thursday morning. All-session tickets, priced at $36 apiece, will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday. These tickets were made available following this summer’s expansion of the Qwest Center and are located in the upper bowl of the arena.

 

Tickets are available at the Qwest Center Omaha Box Office, all Ticketmaster retail locations, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone in Omaha at (402) 422-1212, in Lincoln at 402-475-1212 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com.

 

 

Gainesville Regional Thursday Open Practice Schedule

12:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.        San Diego

2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.              Nebraska

3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.         Florida

5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.              Minnesota

 

Gainesville Regional Team Notes

No. 1 Seed Nebraska

Record: 29-1 overall, 19-1 Big 12 Conference

Coach: John Cook (San Diego '79)

 

Team Notes

* Nebraska is making its 25th NCAA Championship appearance

* Nebraska has won two national titles (1995 & 2000)

* Nebraska is second behind Stanford (79) with 66 all-time NCAA victories

* Nebraska is 17-1 against teams that made NCAA Championship

* Nebraska has been the No. 1 seed in NCAA Championship in each of the last three years and four of the last six years

* Nebraska is 66-22 all-time in NCAA play

* Nebraska has eight players who have played on a Final Four team (2005)

* Junior opposite hitter Sarah Pavan led the Big 12 with 5.22 kills per game

* Pavan, Jordan Larson (OH), Traci Stalls (MB) and Rachel Holloway (S) were all First-Team All-Big 12,

* Pavan was named Big 12 Player of Year, Holloway was the Newcomer of Year, Larson was the Defensive Player of Year and Dani Busboom was the libero of year

* Nebraska has an 8-0 record vs. ranked teams in 2006

* Holloway is the first freshman setter to start at Nebraska in the NCAA era (1981-present)

* Busboom has set the Nebraska record for digs in a season with 502 (previous record was 481).

* Pavan is one of only eight Huskers to ever crack 500 kills in a season (she has 507)

*Nebraska is on pace to break the team records for assists per game (16.40) and kills per game (17.58)

* If their stats hold up, Pavan and Larson would become just the third pair of Nebraska players to average at least 4.00 kills per game in the season. Pavan is at 5.12, Larson at 4.25

* Pavan is on pace to break the Nebraska record for kills per game, which is held by Nancy Metcalf at 5.09. Pavan is 10th in the nation at 5.12 kills per game

* Holloway leads all freshmen in the nation in assists per game at 13.47

* John Cook is a graduate of San Diego (1979)

 

No. 16 Seed San Diego

Record: 26-5 overall, 13-1 West Coast Conference

Coach: Brent Hilliard (Long Beach State '93)

 

Team Notes

* San Diego is making its 11th NCAA Championship appearance

* San Diego is making its second appearance ever in the Regional Semifinals (2004)

* San Diego is 11-10 all-time in NCAA play

* San Diego was 7-5 against teams that made the NCAA Championship in 2006

* San Diego was 4-2 against ranked teams in 2006

* San Diego fell to Nebraska 3-0 on Aug. 29

* San Diego won the West Coast Conference with a 13-1 record after being picked third in preseason

* San Diego had five players earn All-West Coast Conference honors: Laurel Abrahamson (MB), Kristen Carlson (OH, Player of the Year) and Christie Dawson (MB) were all First-Team, while Jessica Nyrop (S) was an honorable mention selection and Andrea Csazi (OH) made the All-Freshman team

* Carlson led the West Coast Conference in kills per game (5.12) and was sixth in digs per game (3.51)

* Carlson, Dawson and Abrahamson have all finished in double figures in kills in 21 matches in 2006

* Brent Hilliard - USD's top assistant the last five years - is serving as interim head coach and was named the West Coast Conference Coach of Year. Head coach Jennifer Petrie is taking the semester off after having a son, Charles.

* San Diego claimed six of the WCC Players of the Week honors during the season: Carlson (three times), Abrahamson (once), Dawson (once) and Nyrop (once)

* Dawson led all players in WCC matches with a .401 hitting percentage and was fifth in kills per game at 4.07

* Nyrop is averaging 13.78 assists per game - third in the nation

* Carlson is 11th in the nation with a kills per game average of 5.09

* As a team, San Diego is fourth in the nation in kills per game (17.18), sixth in assists per game at 15.75 and 28th in hitting percentage (.259)

 

No. 8 Seed Minnesota

Record: 27-7 overall, 17-3 Big Ten Conference

Coach: Mike Hebert (UC-Santa Barbara '66)

 

Team Notes

* Minnesota is making its 12th NCAA Championship appearance

* Minnesota has advanced to the Final Four twice (2003 & 2004)

* Minnesota is 24-11 all-time in NCAA play

* Minnesota is 13-6 against the NCAA field in 2006

* Minnesota fell to Nebraska 3-1 in Lincoln on Sept. 10 in 2006

* Minnesota has played 12 matches vs. ranked teams in 2006 (8-4)

* Minnesota had four All-Big Ten honorees: Kelly Bowman (Opp.), Nelson (MB), and Malama Peniata (L, Defensive Player of the Year) were all First-Team selections, while Jessy Jones (MB) earned honorable mention honors

* Minnesota has had a first team All-Big Ten libero each of last five years (Paula Gentil 2002-05, Malama Peniata in 2006)

* Peniata led the Big Ten with 5.14 digs per game in conference play

*Minnesota finished second or higher for the sixth time in last eight years in the Big Ten (its 17 wins was a school conference record)

* Minnesota fell out of the rankings on Sept. 4, but was back in the top 15 just five weeks later at No. 12. When the Gophers were not in the Sept. 4 poll, it ended a streak of 41 straight weeks that dated to 10/20/03

* Minnesota has four players who have played in a final four: Bowman, Nelson, and Peniata in 2003 and 2004 and Jones in 2004

* Nelson needs eight block assists to tie the Minnesota career record (she has 528). Pam Miller (83-86) holds school record at 536. Nelson broke the school record for career block assists with six last week and has 449.

* Peniata has 486 digs on the season - nine behind fifth place on the single season lists (495). She needs only 14 digs to become second player in school history to reach 500 in a season (Paula Gentil did it four times)

* Minnesota has two players from Florida on its roster - sophomore Doneila Jackson (Plant City/Durant HS) and freshman Christine Tan (Palm Harbor/Palm Harbor HS)

* Mike Hebert was named to the AVCA Hall of Fame on Sept. 28 - the fourth Hall of Fame Class

 

No. 9 Seed Florida

Record: 30-2, 19-1 Southeastern Conference

Coach: Mary Wise (Purdue '81)

 

Team Notes

* Florida is making its 17th NCAA Championship appearance

* Florida has advanced to the Final Four seven times (1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003)

* Florida is 45-16 all-time in NCAA play

* Florida is 34-2 at home in NCAA play and hasn't fallen at home since a 3-2 loss to Texas in the 1995 Regional Final

* Florida has advanced to Regional play in 15 of the last 16 years

* Florida has played in a Regional Final 12 of the last 15 years - most in nation

* Florida is 18-1 against teams that made the NCAA Championship in 2006 - the most wins of any team in the nation

* UF has three players who have participated in a Final Four (Rhian Davis, Stefanie Douglas, Amber McCray)

* Florida ranks tied for eighth with 45 all-time wins in the NCAA Championship. However, those wins have come in only 17 tournament appearances, which means that Florida, on average, wins 2.65 matches per NCAA appearance. That average is second best in the nation behind Stanford (3.03)

* Florida had six players earn All-SEC recognition:  SEC Player of Year - Angie McGinnis (first setter to ever win) Amber McCray (Opp., First-Team), Kelsey Bowers (MB, Second-Team), Marcie Hampton (OH, Second-Team), Kristina Johnson (MB, All-Freshman, Elyse Cusack (L, Defensive Player of the Year)

* Florida has 522 wins since 1991 - the most in the nation

* Cusack is on pace to break the SEC record for digs per game at 5.51 (the record is 5.12 set by UF's Rachel Engel in 2005)

* McGinnis has broken Florida career setting records for kills, attacks, block solos, block assists, total blocks and points in 2006

* McGinnis is the fastest player in UF history to 3,000 and 4,000 assists

* Florida's streak of 16 consecutive SEC titles ties the Arkansas men's cross country team for the most in SEC history in any sport

* UF has won 25 matches each of the last 16 years - the longest streak in the nation

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