Thursday November 1, 2012No. 13 Florida Volleyball Prepares for Georgia and Tennessee at the O'Dome
The No. 13 University of Florida volleyball team (18-3, 12-0 SEC) plays host to SEC East foes Georgia (13-9, 7-5 SEC) and Tennessee (15-6, 8-4 SEC) this weekend in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
First serve between the Gators and the Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday evening, November 2. The match will be broadcast live on Sun Sports (North and Central Florida) and FS Florida (South Florida) with Tom Collett and Missy Whittemore on the call. The showdown between the Orange and Blue and the 2011 SEC Champion Lady Vols will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m. ET. CSS will air the broadcast as well as ESPN3 with Larry Vettel and Whittemore calling the action live.
The Gators are coming off a split week, dropping a three-setter at then-No. 12 Florida State (23-25, 22-25, 21-25) before sweeping Mississippi State in the O’Connell Center on Friday evening (25-11, 25-8, 25-11). Florida currently has a four-match lead in the SEC standings heading into the weekend.
Florida was led by freshman outside hitter and SEC Co-Freshman of the Week Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia), who registered her fourth double-double of 2012 (16 kills, 15 digs), tying her career high in digs. Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) and senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) each tallied 10 kills on the night while Mann added four blocks.
In Friday’s 3-0 sweep of Mississippi State (25-11, 25-8, 25-11), Wiggs set a new Florida program record with her .929 hitting percentage (13-0-14), besting the .923 hitting clip by Benavia Jenkins in the 2002 NCAA Tournament (12/6/02 vs. UCF). Mann hit .727 with eight errorless kills on 11 swings against Mississippi State. The Gators hit .455 against the Bulldogs, their highest hitting percentage in SEC play this season.
Junior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) continues to lead the SEC in assists (11.37/set), while Mann leads the conference and is fourth in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.441), and is also third in the league in blocks (1.12/set). Wiggs is second in the SEC and ninth in the nation (.409) in hitting percentage and Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) is sixth in the SEC (.345), making three Gators in the top 10. Florida leads the league in hitting percentage (.312), good for second in the NCAA, and service aces (1.45/set), while ranking third in kills/set (14.19).
Georgia is considered by many to be the league’s most improved team, having swept both Auburn and Mizzou earlier in the season and dropping a five-set thriller to Kentucky last weekend. The Bulldogs are led by freshman middle blocker Jasmine Eaton, who shares SEC Co-Freshman of the Week honors with Florida’s Recek.
Tennessee, the 2011 SEC Champions and the 2012 SEC preseason coaches’ pick, comes to Gainesville winning six of their last seven matches, including three straight five-setters. The Lady Vols return four AVCA All-Americans in senior middle blocker DeeDee Harrison, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week, junior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, the 2011 SEC Player of the Year, senior right-side hitter Leslie Cikra and sophomore setter Mary Pollmiller.
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.
Friday, November 2, 7:00 PM - Georgia
Sunday, November 4, 2:00 PM - Tennessee