Wednesday January 11, 2012Florida Volleyball Holds 2011 Banquet
Reflecting on the achievements and accomplishments of the 2011 season, the University of Florida volleyball team hosted its annual banquet at the Don and Irene Dizney Gator Room in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sunday evening.
The event, hosted by the Gator Attack Club, was attended by friends, family and fans of the Florida volleyball program, which finished with a 27-6 overall record in 2011 and reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 2005. The Gators advanced to the NCAA regional semifinal round for the 20th time in the last 21 years and extended the nation’s longest streak of consecutive 25-win seasons to 21.
The Gators, who finished the 2011 campaign with the top hitting percentage in the NCAA at .309, lead the nation since 1991 with 659 total victories. Florida’s 21 consecutive 25-win seasons also comprise a nation-leading streak.
The event, which was emceed by Tom Collett, the radio voice of the Florida volleyball team, began with a social and photo slide show of the season, featuring the work of photographer Jim Burgess. Gator Attack Club president Paul McLaughlin and president-elect Dianne Kattawar, along with other club members, assisted with the presentation of the awards.
Dinner was served and then a number of awards in several categories were presented to the Florida volleyball players. The awards and their recipients are as follows, in the order they were presented:
· Academic Award – Sundai Weston
· Gator Power Award (strength & conditioning) – Kristy Jaeckel
· Blocking Award – Betsy Smith
· Claire Roach Defensive Award – Taylor Unroe
· Serving Award – Kristy Jaeckel and Kelly Murphy
· Hitting Percentage Award – Chloe Mann
· Passing Award – Taylor Unroe
· Assists Award –Kelly Murphy
· Kills Award – Kristy Jaeckel
· Gator Great Award – Sundai Weston
· Gator Spirit Award – Elissa Hausmann
· Janet Garrett Award – Betty and Jim Parrish, Gator Attack Club members
The 2011 senior class, as is tradition, addressed the crowd. Seniors Cassandra Anderson (Bakersfield, Calif.), Elissa Hausmann (Tampa, Fla.) and Stephanie Ferrell (Los Angeles, Calif.) gave their speeches in person. Senior All-Americans Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) are playing professionally in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and had teammates read their senior speeches.
Head coach Mary Wise addressed the crowd with a look back on the 2011 campaign and a season highlight video was shown. Wise closed the evening with a look ahead to the bright future of Florida volleyball.
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