Thursday September 13, 2012No. 13 Gators Hit the Road to Open SEC Action at Arkansas and No. 24 Kentucky
The No. 13 Florida volleyball team (6-2, 0-0 SEC) hits the road for the start of Southeastern Conference action. The Gators take on the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-2, 0-0 SEC) on Friday evening at 8 p.m. ET with live streaming video on GatorVision and the live call by Tom Collett on ESPN 850/900.
On Sunday, the Orange and Blue face the No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats at 1 p.m. ET. Live streaming video can be found on ukathletics.com and the live radio feed can be heard on ESPN 850/900 with Collett on the call. Sunday’s match against the Wildcats carries special significance, as it will be the 1,000th match played in Florida history. The Gators are 821-177 (998 matches) all-time since the program’s reinstatement in 1984.
Florida enters the weekend with a 6-2 record in pre-conference play, having captured titles at the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational and the Active Ankle Challenge. The Gators were led once again by freshman Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) who was named the MVP of the tournament after notching career highs in kills (23), aces (3) and points (27.0) against Georgia Tech.
On the weekend, Recek hit .417 with 49 kills to go along with five service aces for 57.0 points, all team highs. This was the third all-tournament team honor for Recek, who was named to both the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational and the Nike Big Four Classic All-Tournament Teams.
Also honored on the All-Tournament Team for Florida was senior Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.), who tallied 12 kills against the Yellow Jackets along with five blocks on the evening. For the tournament, Wiggs hit .455 with 31 kills and stuffed eight blocks.
Arkansas closed out its non-conference schedule with a 9-2 record after winning a tournament title at the Razorback Invitational with weekend victories over Houston Baptist, ULM and UTEP. Liz Fortado, Emily Helm, Raymariely Santos and Janeliss Torres-Lopez earned all-tournament honors; Santos was named the Most Valuable Player while Helm was picked as the Outstanding Libero.
Santos registered a double-double in each of Arkansas’ four matches during the week, increasing her season total to seven. Torres-Lopez posted a .467 hitting percentage during the week, including a career-best .632 mark behind a season-high 12 kills against UTEP.
During the Razorback Invitational, Fortado averaged 2.90 kills per set and had a career- high 12 kills against ULM. Jasmine Norton moved into third place on the program’s all-time kills list and currently sits just one shy of 1,500 kills for her career.
Kentucky capped off non-conference action at the Ameritas Players Challenge, hosted by the University of Nebraska. UK earned a win over Duquesne before suffering four-set losses to Oklahoma and No. 1 Nebraska.
Senior Ashley Frazier had a career-high tying and match-high 20 kill performance on a.459 hitting percentage against Nebraska. Setter Morgan Bergren earned SEC Freshman of the Week as she recorded her first career double-double effort with a UK single-match high 47 assists and 10 digs against the Cornhuskers. She also added career-high marks with four kills and five blocks.
In the victory over Duquesne, middle blockers Alexandra Morgan and Sara Schwarzwalder combined for 20 kills with no errors. Morgan’s defensive presence continues to aid the Wildcat cause as the junior turned back 19 opponent attacks in 11 sets for a blistering 1.73 rejections per frame.
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