Tuesday July 10, 2012Three Gators Gain Experience with Team USA
2012 USA A2 Teams with Coaching Staff
2012 USA A2 Teams with Coaching Staff
While many Gators have been preparing for the 2012 London Olympics on the basketball court, in the pool, on the track or on the pitch, two Florida athletes and a Gator Volleyball staff member have been representing Team USA on the volleyball court.
Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) led her USA White team to the U.S. Womenís National Volleyball A2 Championship in Columbus, Ohio, scoring nine points in the championship match with seven kills on 15 errorless attacks (.467) to go along with two blocks.
Over the course of the A2 Championship, Mann registered a .423 hitting efficiency, tallying 35 kills on 74 swings with only three errors. The Gainesville native also registered four blocks for the tournament, as her USA White team rallied back from an 0-3 record in pool play to defeat the No. 1-seeded USA Blue squad in the semifinals, 3-1, before sweeping the USA Gold squad in the title match, 3-0.
Mann had a breakout sophomore campaign for the Gators, starting 14 matches and playing in 27 matches overall, setting a new Florida program record for hitting percentage in a season (.500). Mann tallied 145 kills and 67 blocks on the season. Her hitting efficiency aided the Gators to the nationís best hitting percentage (.308) and the Gainesville native led the SEC in hitting percentage throughout the last six weeks of the season.
Mann had quite a few memorable performances in 2011, including a weekend on the road at LSU and Arkansas that put her in the Florida record books. Mann recorded the second-highest hitting percentage in NCAA history (min. 20 attacks), as she hit .900 against LSU, tallying 18 kills with no errors (18-0-20). Her performance was the highest in the history of the SEC with at least 20 attacks and she registered a then-career-high 20.5 points.
Not to be outdone, Mann followed up that career performance with another, posting 19 kills, six digs, five blocks and a .417 hitting percentage in Floridaís comeback victory over Arkansas. Her 19 kills were the most by a Florida middle blocker since the change in rally scoring to 25-point sets. Mann recorded 21.5 points in the win, a new career high.
Mann was joined in Columbus by Florida volleyball video coordinator, Eugene Tichenor. Tichenor served as a technical assistant coach for the USA A2 program in Columbus, having impressed volleyball legend Karch Kiraly and the USA Volleyball staff while assisting with the U.S. Womenís National Team Open Tryouts in February at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Former four-time Gator All-American and 2010 SEC Player of the Year Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) has been competing in China as a member of the U.S. Olympic Development Team. Murphy is a right-side hitter on the USA All-Star Team, joining five other professionals and six collegiate athletes on the roster. The USA Select Team also has 12 members, including fellow SEC performer Jasmine Norton, an outside hitter from Arkansas.
The two teams each compete in six matches during 10 days in Tianjin and Beijing. Murphy has twice been named Player of the Match and has been playing solely as a pin hitter, a contrast to her time in the Orange and Blue as a setter/right-side hitter.
Both teams finish out their trip with final matches on Wednesday in Beijing before returning to the United States.
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.