Thursday September 27, 2012No. 12 Florida Volleyball Travels to Take On Gamecocks and Bulldogs
The No. 12 University of Florida volleyball team travels to South Carolina (13-2, 2-2 SEC) and Mississippi State (4-8, 0-3 SEC) this weekend as the Gators continue SEC action on Friday and Sunday, September 28 and 30. The Orange and Blue are the only team remaining undefeated in conference play.
Friday’s match against the Gamecocks is set for 7 p.m. and Cory Stephens will have the call on Country 103.7 The Gator. Sunday’s contest featuring the Gators and the Bulldogs will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET, and Stephens will have the play-by-play live on Country 103.7 The Gator. Live video for both matches can be found on the teams’ respective websites.
Florida is coming off a three-set sweep of Missouri, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-17), on Friday night. In the sole contest of the weekend for Florida, the Gators hit .237 in the match behind the third career double-double for Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia), while junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) hit .348 with 12 kills on the night. Senior Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) tallied nine kills while junior Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) dished out 35 assists, adding eight digs, three blocks and three kills.
Sophomore Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) tallied 15 digs on the night, marking the 17th straight match in which she has scooped double-digit digs (dating back to Nov. 23, 2011). Unroe also continued her passing streak, registering her 10th match of the season with a perfect serve-receive percentage. The Muncie, Ind. native ranks first in serve receive percentage among all starting liberos from AVCA Top-25 teams, recording only one serve receive error on the season.
The Gator block was led by Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), who stuffed four balls on the evening. Freshman outside hitter Gabby Mallette (Orange Park, Fla.) was not far behind Smith, roofing three attempted attacks to tie with Brauneis. The match marked the 22nd straight SEC home opener victory for Florida head coach Mary Wise.
Florida leads the SEC in hitting percentage (.318) and service aces (1.63/set), while Wiggs leads the conference in hitting percentage (.465), good for fourth in the nation.
South Carolina saw its best season-opening win streak and second-longest surge in program history snapped last weekend, dropping matches at Auburn and then-No. 21 Tennessee. The Gamecocks lost both in four sets, coming within points of forcing a fifth against the Lady Vols on Sunday. Juliette Thévenin, last week’s SEC Offensive Player of the Week, led the team in both outings, posting 36 kills on the weekend. Thévenin needs two kills to pass Belita Salters for 14th in SC history in kills, while 8.5 points will make her the 19th Gamecock to compile 1,000 career points.
Mississippi State dropped a closely-contested four-set match (18-25, 26-24, 23-25, 12-25) at Ole Miss last Friday in the Bulldogs’ lone competition of the weekend. Sophomore Lainey Wyman paced State with 12 kills and three blocks. Senior Chanelle Baker hit a team-best .318 and tallied nine kills, becoming the third Bulldog to reach 100 kills for the season. Freshman libero Roxanne McVey, the SEC’s digs leader (272/6.04 d/s), registered a match-high 32 digs, her second-highest total of the season while freshman Taylor Scott came off the bench to notch her fourth double-double (11 kills/14 digs) in 12 matches.