Sunday November 30, 2008Volleyball Begins NCAA Quest on Friday vs. FAMU
For the 18th
consecutive season and the 19th time in program history, the No.
This marks the 17th
time in the last 18 years that the Gators (25-3, 18-2 Southeastern Conference)
have played host to opening-round contests.
Ticket packages for both days may be purchased in advance through the Gator Ticket Office for $10 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens and $4 for children 12 and under. Single-session tickets also may be purchased beginning the day of the match for $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and $4 for children 12 and under.
“Any team that has the
opportunity to play at home, history has shown, has a real advantage,”
The Gators are coming off their 18th consecutive SEC title after posting a hard-fought five-set victory at South Carolina last Wednesday night and then concluding the regular season with a 3-0 sweep at UNLV on Saturday night.
Junior libero Elyse
Florida A&M captured its eighth consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title this season with a 3-2 win against Maryland Eastern Shore in the league tournament championship game. The Rattlers enter Friday’s match with a 14-12 overall record, including a 7-1 mark in MEAC play.
FAMU features one of the smallest rosters (by number of players) in NCAA Division I volleyball with just eight players on the squad. Despite the lack of depth, the Rattlers have been the MEAC’s most successful team for nearly a decade behind head coach Tony Trifonov, an eight-time MEAC Outstanding Coach of the Year recipient.
The 2008 edition is led by
sophomore outside hitter Jovana Blazeski, a 6-foot-2 player from
“FAMU is a team that is used to winning and is used to being in the tournament,” Wise said. “We have run into them often in the past and know that every team that makes the NCAA tournament is coming off of a great season.”
The Gators are 47-18
(.723) all-time in NCAA Championship action, including a 46-17 (.730) mark
under Wise’s direction.
The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were No. 1 Penn State; No. 2 Stanford; No. 3 Texas; and No. 4 Nebraska.
The Pacific-10 Conference led all conferences with six teams selected. The Big Ten Conference and West Coast Conference garnered five teams each in the field while the Big 12 Conference and the SEC each have four teams in the tournament.
In the 27-year history of
the championship, 10 schools have been crowned champion, nine of which are in
this year’s bracket, including the defending champion
Additional past winners
making the field are Stanford (1992, 94, 96, 97, 2001, 04),
Complete results and a recap of Friday’s match will be available at www.GatorZone.com.
· The Gators are 47-18 (.723) in the NCAA Championship, including a 46-17 (.730) mark under head coach Mary Wise.
· UF has made 18 consecutive and 19 overall NCAA Championship appearances (1987, 1991-2007).
· The Gators have advanced to regional action in 16 of Wise's 17 seasons and reached the national semifinal seven times in the last 17 years.
· UF is one of only four schools to make at least seven national semifinal appearances in the past 17 years.
· UF has appeared in seven national semifinal matches since 1992, the most of any East Coast school.
· UF players have earned 34 NCAA All-Region Team honors, including five MVPs.
END OF REPORT