Wednesday September 4, 2013No. 8 Gators Travel to San Antonio for Matchup with Roadrunners
The No. 8 Florida volleyball team opens the 2013 travel slate with a non-conference matchup against UT-San Antonio. The Gators and the Roadrunners face off Thursday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Opponent to Watch: UTSA boasts the preseason C-USA Player of the Year and reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week in senior outside hitter McKenzie Adams. Adams was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American a year ago, UTSA’s first-ever AVCA postseason honor.
All-Time: Florida has faced UTSA once in program history, sweeping the Roadrunners in San Antonio on November 13, 1999.
Mary’s Minute: “It’s one thing to play well at home in the O’Connell Center in front of your home fans. It’s another to try and do that on the road. We’re very thankful that UTSA was able to schedule this match and that we’ll have the opportunity to play last year’s conference player of the year. I think it’ll be helpful for us to get the experience now of playing an All-American outside hitter on her home court.”
On the Horizon: After Thursday’s match against UTSA, Florida heads up the I-35 to Austin to participate in the final installment of the Nike Big Four Classic. The Gators take on the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Florida faces 2012 Final Four participant and newly-minted No. 1 Penn State on Sunday, September 8 at 11 a.m. ET. Both of the Nike Big Four matches will air tape-delayed on the Longhorn Network with Chris Marlowe and Nell Fortner on the call Saturday at 11 p.m. ET and Paul Sunderland and Fortner calling the action together Sunday airing at 6 p.m. ET.
Head Coaching Records:
Florida Head Coach Mary Wise
At Florida: 689-80
UTSA Head Coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff
At UTSA: 190-165
Last Time Out: The Gators went undefeated to open the 2013 season, sweeping New Orleans with a season-high .500 hitting percentage and defeating LIU Brooklyn, 3-1. In the championship match of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, the Gators swept the Duke Blue Devils behind Tournament MVP Chloe Mann’s 15 kills on an errorless 23 swings (.652). For the weekend, Mann hit .630 with only one error. Freshman Alex Holston was phenomenal in her first outing in the Orange and Blue, hitting .436 (20-3-39) for the best opening weekend hitting percentage by a starting freshman in program history. Sophomore outside hitter and reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year Živa Recek was impressive, putting down 29 kills on the weekend, including 10 errorless kills in the Gators’ sweep of Duke. As a team, the Gators notched only four errors against the Blue Devils, tying for the least in a single match in program history.
Preseason Buzz: Florida was picked to win the Southeastern Conference title in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches, while senior middle blocker Mann and sophomore outside hitter Recek were named Preseason All-SEC. Mann was also recently named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award.
They’re Back: Florida returns 11 letterwinners and five starters from a year ago, including First Team All-American Mann, AVCA National Freshman of the Year Recek, AVCA Honorable Mention All-American setter Taylor Brauneis, 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team honoree Taylor Unroe and sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette.
Lights, Camera, Action: Florida will be on television 12 times during the course of the 2013 regular season, the most of any Southeastern Conference program. The Gators’ first televised match is Saturday, September 7 against Stanford at the Nike Big Four Classic.
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.
Thursday, September 5