Tuesday November 20, 2012No. 15 Florida Volleyball Hits the Road for Final SEC Weekend
The No. 15 Florida volleyball team (23-4, 17-1 SEC) hits the road for their final SEC matches of the season, traveling to Auburn and Georgia over Thanksgiving. The Orange and Blue head to Tiger Country to face Auburn at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening. The match will air live on AuburnTigers.com and can be accessed with a paid CBS College Sports subscription. Gator fans can listen live to Country 103.7 The Gator with Cory Stephens on the call.
Florida will travel on the Thanksgiving holiday to Athens, Ga., as the Gators take on the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. ET on Friday night to close the 2012 regular season. The match between the Gators and the Bulldogs will air live on GeorgiaDogs.com and can be accessed for free. Gator fans can listen live to Stephens call the match live on ESPN 850/900.
The Gators claimed the 2012 SEC title after defeating LSU in four (22-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-13) on Friday and sweeping South Carolina (25-19, 25-14, 25-19) on Sunday.
Against the Tigers, sophomore libero Taylor Unroe (Muncie, Ind.) led the way for Florida with a career-high 27 digs on the night, playing arguably one of the best matches of her career. Sophomore defensive specialist Holly Pole (Ocala, Fla.) scooped 14 digs against the Tigers to go along with a match-high two service aces, both at crucial moments in the third stanza. Freshman outside hitter Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) turned in her seventh double-double with 14 kills and 18 digs.
Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann (Gainesville, Fla.) stuffed a career-high-tying seven blocks on the night and senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs (Seattle, Wash.) roofed six blocks against the Tigers. Both Mann and Wiggs tallied eight kills apiece. Senior middle blocker Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) had a balanced performance with 11 kills on 20 swings (.400) and four blocks on the evening. Junior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) dished out 38 assists to go along with five digs against the Tigers.
On Sunday, Florida was led by Smith and Wiggs, who hit .500 (11 kills) and .444 (10 kills), respectively. Recek turned in her eighth career double-double with a match-high 17 kills and 10 digs. Brauneis dished out 50 assists, tying former All-American Lauren Moscovic for the fifth-most in a three-set match in Florida program history.
Mann registered 12 kills against the Gamecocks, hitting .524, while freshman outside hitter Berkley Whaley (St. Petersburg, Fla.) turned in a perfect seven kills on 11 swings for a .636 hitting clip. On the defensive side of things, sophomores Unroe and Pole registered 14 and 10 digs apiece, while sophomore Madison Monserez (Orlando, Fla.) recorded nine.
Auburn is 17-11 and 8-10 in conference action heading into the weekend. The Tigers dropped a pair of road matches in conference play last weekend, falling in a five-set heartbreaker at Tennessee before seeing a six-match winning streak over Alabama snapped in a 3-1 loss Sunday in Tuscaloosa. Senior Sarah Bullock posted a career-best 24 kills in the loss to Tennessee, then followed that up with a match-best 15 kills against Alabama on Sunday. She has surpassed the 1,200-kill mark and will likely finish her career fifth all-time in career kills at Auburn. She also had double-doubles in both matches, giving her 14 for the year and nine in a row, and moved up to fourth all-time at Auburn with 1,198 career digs. Junior Katherine Culwell also had double-doubles in both matches, giving her nine for the year. Junior libero Sarah Wroblicky has vaulted up the single-season chart with 416 digs this year; she has posted the fourth-best single-season digs total in Auburn history with two matches left.
Georgia is 13-15 on the year and 7-11 in SEC play. The Bulldogs are coming off a 0-2 weekend where they fell in four sets to both Arkansas and Kentucky. Tirah Le’au led the team, finishing with 29 kills and a .429 hitting efficiency. The sophomore’s .522 attack percentage against Arkansas was a career best. The Bulldogs are currently on a seven-match losing skid.
The Gators lead the SEC and rank third in the nation in offensive efficiency (.307) and are tops in the conference in service aces per set (1.41). Mann rates fifth in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.432), while Brauneis is ninth in assists with 11.69 per set. Florida is 14th in this week’s NCAA RPI and the Gators earned the SEC’s automatic bid for the NCAA Championships with their SEC title last weekend. The NCAA Selection Show will take place on Sunday, November 25th at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
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