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Thursday July 5, 2012Florida Volleyball Announces Impressive 2012 Schedule

Gainesville, Fla.

Two home regular-season tournaments, participation in the third year of the NIKE Volleyball Big Four Classic and 17 home matches highlight the 2012 University of Florida volleyball schedule, announced in full on Thursday by head coach Mary Wise.

 

The Gators, who are coming off an Elite Eight run in 2011 and their 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, are the winningest program in the NCAA since Wise’s arrival in 1991, earning 19 SEC titles. Florida boasts the highest attendance in the SEC annually and has ranked in the top-10 in the NCAA in nine out of the last 10 seasons.

 

"The non-conference schedule will give us the opportunity to prepare for the SEC,” Wise said. “The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri will make our league race that much tougher."

 

The Orange and Blue hit the road to participate in the third annual NIKE Volleyball Big Four Classic, hosted by Penn State University on Friday and Saturday, August 31-September 1.

 

Florida faces 2011 NCAA Final Four participant Texas at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday before stepping up against 2011 NCAA participant Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.

 

The Gators are 2-2 in the NIKE Volleyball Big Four Classic, including two thrilling five-set victories over the Longhorns.

 

The Gators welcome the Slovenian Junior National Team to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in a Labor Day exhibition match on Monday, September 3 before hitting the road to face 2011 NCAA Final Four participant Florida State on Wednesday, September 5 at 7 p.m. ET.

 

Florida, whose Southeastern Conference schedule was released earlier this spring, hosts two fall tournaments for the second consecutive year, and the full home schedule, along with season ticket information, can be found on GatorZone.

 

The Orange and Blue return eight letterwinners from a year ago, including 2011 starters middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.), middle blocker Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) and right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.).

 

The Gators add seven newcomers and one redshirt freshman as Louisville transfer Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.), an honorable mention AVCA All-America setter and two-time USA A2 participant will join UF, as well as seven freshmen in setter Dana Backlund (Wildomar, Calif.), outside hitter Gabby Mallette (Orange Park, Fla.), libero Nikki O’Rourke (Clearwater, Fla.), outside hitter Živa Recek (pronounced Ghee-vah Res-ick) (Kočevje, Slovenia), outside hitter Jackie Swalchick (Melbourne, Fla.) and early enrollee outside hitter Berkley Whaley (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) as members of next season’s freshman class, along with redshirt freshman middle blocker Simone Antwi (Lorton, Va.).

 

For all of the latest information on Florida volleyball, please log on to www.gatorzone.com/volleyball or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida volleyball on Twitter at @GatorZoneVB or www.twitter.com/GatorZoneVB and Coach Mary Wise on Twitter at @GatorMary or www.twitter.com/GatorMary. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.

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