Thursday October 4, 2012No. 11 Florida Volleyball Opens Four-Match Homestand with Arkansas and Kentucky
The No. 11 University of Florida volleyball team begins a four-match homestand when they play host to Arkansas and Kentucky this weekend at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators’ match against the Razorbacks takes place on Friday evening at 7 p.m. and fans can tune in live to GatorVision and Country 103.7 The Gator. Sunday’s showdown against the Wildcats is Florida’s first televised match of the year. First serve is set for 3 p.m. and the match will air live on Fox Sports Florida and GatorVision, as well as Country 103.7 The Gator.
Sunday’s match against Kentucky is also Florida’s Serving for a Cure match, an opportunity to bring awareness to breast cancer during the month of October.
Florida is coming off a 2-0 weekend on the road, defeating South Carolina in four sets (3-1: 25-14, 25-23, 21-25, 25-17) on Friday evening before sweeping Mississippi State (3-0: 25-14, 25-9, 25-18) on Sunday afternoon. Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) hit .611 on the weekend with 25 kills on 36 swings to go along with seven blocks (1.17 blocks/set) over the two matches. Against the Gamecocks, Mann tallied a career-high 20 kills and a season-high .621 hitting percentage (min. nine attacks).
Freshman outside hitter Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) put up 25 kills in seven sets played while senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) hit .385 against the Gamecocks and Bulldogs, (19 kills), stuffing a team-high nine blocks on the weekend.
Sophomore libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) scooped 36 digs on the weekend, including 19 digs against Mississippi State, a three-set career high. Unroe was a major factor behind the service line on Sunday, serving 16 points (including 11 straight) and two aces against MSU. Junior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) dished out 90 assists on the weekend, setting well above her average on the season (12.86/set vs. 11.67/set).
The Gators lead the nation in hitting percentage (.327) and are tops in the SEC in service aces (1.58/set). Wiggs leads the SEC in hitting efficiency with 107 kills on 198 swings (.449) and currently ranks seventh in the NCAA. Brauneis leads the SEC in assists/set with 11.67, good for 20th in the NCAA.
Arkansas is on a four-match win streak coming into the O’Dome, having won every match since their five-set loss to the Gators in September. Most recently, the Razorbacks earned a straight-set win over Auburn at home. Roslandy Acosta led a balanced offensive attack with a match-high 10 kills. She was one of six players with at least five kills against the Tigers. Defensively, Arkansas had 10.0 team blocks and limited Auburn to a .118 hitting percentage.
In the weekend finale, the Razorbacks posted a four-set win over LSU. Acosta and Janeliss Torres-Lopez each had 15 kills while Amanda Anderson added 14 kills of her own. Directed by 47 assists from Raymariely Santos, Arkansas registered a .310 hitting percentage against the Tigers. Based on her performance the week prior at Tennessee and Georgia, Torres-Lopez was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
The Kentucky volleyball team has stretched its conference winning streak to three matches after a three-set upset of then-No. 25 Tennessee and a four-set win over Auburn last weekend. Junior Whitney Billings led the charge with a pair of double-double efforts including a career-high 19 kills in a four-set match vs. the Tigers. Her 10-kill performance vs. the Lady Vols marked the first double- figure kill effort without committing an error in her career. She has logged three-consecutive double-doubles which has coincided with UK’s winning streak. In addition to her point scoring, she paced UK in digs (4.43) and blocks (1.14).
Senior setter Christine Hartmann led the offense to 14.5 kills per set on a .239 hitting clip in the two wins. Hartmann had a double-double effort vs. Auburn with 45 assists and 12 digs. She also led the team with six blocks in the contest as she nearly came away with a triple-double.
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.
PROMOTIONS – FLORIDA VOLLEYBALL VS. ARKANSAS – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5
· #GatorVBLetsGo – Fans, hash tag #GatorVBLetsGo on your tweets and let us hear your thoughts on the Florida Volleyball team!
· @GZAlberta – Alberta wants to see pictures from all fans at Friday night’s volleyball match. Take pictures during the match and tweet them @GZAlberta.
· Chick Fil-A Admission Coupon - Buy One, Get One free admission coupons will be distributed at the Chick-Fil-A on Archer Road.
· Post-Match Autographs - Join the team on the court after the match for a post-game autograph session.
PROMOTIONS – FLORIDA VOLLEYBALL VS. KENTUCKY – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7
· Breast Cancer Awareness Match – First 500 fans will receive black and pink Serving for a Cure tank tops. Zeta Tau Alpha will be outside the O’Connell Center collecting pink Yoplait yogurt tops, any fan that donates 10 or more will receive buy one get one free admission coupon. Fans can stop by the Breast Cancer Awareness table located between gates 1 & 2 to learn more about the fight against breast cancer.
· Kids Sunday Funday – Children 12 & under arrive early and join Alberta and the Dazzlers in the Kids Korner between Gates 3 & 4 in the O’Connell Center. There will be games, poster making, pictures & fun! For this match only children will be encourage to make cards that will be delivered to other children in the Shands Pediatric Center. Children will also be invited to form the pre-match player tunnel on the court, post-match spikeline & post-match autographs.
· Little Tikes Volleyball – Between sets 2 & 3 the Pink Panthers will face off against the Green Jolly Ranchers in a little tikes volleyball matchup. Fans are encouraged to stay in their seats to see these kids perform during intermission.
· Chalk Talk – All fans join Associate Head Coach Dave Boos for the second Chalk Talk of the season. Coach Boos will preview Sunday’s match in the martial arts room of the O’Connell Center. Fans are encouraged to arrive at 2 PM to take part in the Chalk Talk.
· Rowdy Reptiles – Students, check-in @ Gate 2 of the O’Connell Center from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM and receive 3 Rowdy Reptile points!