Friday August 30, 2013No. 9 Gators Go Unbeaten to Open 2013 Season
The No. 9 Florida volleyball team started the season on a high note with wins over the New Orleans Privateers (3-0: 25-7, 25-9, 25-12) and the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (3-1: 25-18, 25-11, 24-26, 25-17) in the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational on Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Florida is now 22-8 in season debuts and the Gators have claimed 10 consecutive season-opening matches.
Simone Antwi, a redshirt-sophomore middle blocker from Fairfax Station, Va., notched eight kills in the win over UNO, while Taylor Unroe and Mackenzie Dagostino each had four service aces, new career highs for both. In the match against LIU, Živa Recek registered a double-double of 15 kills and 11 digs, the 10th of her career. Senior Chloe Mann hit .591 (14-1-22) to lead the team against the Blackbirds, coupled with a match-high seven blocks.
· The Gators tallied 16 service aces in the victory over UNO, the most of any Florida team in the rally scoring era.
· Taylor Brauneis served five aces against LIU, a new career high for the senior.
· The Gators outscored their opponents, 137-63.5. The Gators hit .360 on the day, holding their opponents to .075 hitting efficiency.
UP NEXT: The Campus USA Credit Union Invitational will conclude Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. LIU and New Orleans square off at 1: 30 p.m. ET and the Gators follow with their matchup against Duke at 4:00 p.m. ET. An All-Tournament Team and MVP will be named following the final match of the day.
MARY’S MINUTE: “I think it was great for us to get pushed by LIU Brooklyn with how well they played and how low error they were. At times, we’ll play teams that, with the pressure from the O’Connell Center crowd, they’re going to give us some points. It wasn’t until the fourth set where they began making errors but until that point, there were hardly any at all. I give a lot of credit to their coaching staff. The way they played in set three, they made us a little impatient. When you play a good defensive team, you can’t keep trying to hit the same shot, especially when that shot isn’t working. It was good for us to be pressed like that.”
FRESHMAN ON THE FLOOR: Rookie right-side hitter Alex Holston was impressive in her Gator debut, notching 14 kills on a .393 offensive clip while adding six blocks on the day. Five of her stuffs came from the opening match against New Orleans.
BEAT THE HEAT: Gator fans can cool off following the Florida football game against Toledo by using their football ticket for free admission to Gator Volleyball’s match against Duke.
RECORDS: Florida: 2-0; Duke: 2-0; LIU Brooklyn: 0-2; New Orleans: 0-2
FOLLOW THE GATORS: For all of the latest information on Florida volleyball, please visit GatorZone. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida Volleyball (@GatorZoneVB) and Coach Mary Wise (@GatorMary) on Twitter. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.
NEUTRAL MATCHES: In the opening match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, the Duke Blue Devils defeated LIU 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-18), to start the 2013 season. The Blue Devils were led by Jeme Obeime, who registered a match-high five kills. Duke improved to 2-0 on the season with a 3-0 win (25-10, 25-14, 25-15) over New Orleans on Friday evening. In that match, both Chelsea Cook and Ali McCurdy notched three service aces and Breanna Atkinson tallied nine kills.
Saturday, August 31
1:30 P.M. LIU Brooklyn vs. New Orleans Live Stats