Friday September 27, 2013No. 3 Gators Open SEC Action with Sweep of Mississippi State
The No. 3 Florida volleyball team opened Southeastern Conference play with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-11) sweep of Mississippi State Friday evening at the Newell-Grissom Building.
Florida was led by sophomore outside hitters Gabby Mallette and Živa Recek, who both turned in double-digit kills against MSU. Mallette led all hitters with a match-high 11 kills, while Recek tallied 10 kills to go along with nine digs for a near-double-double.
· Junior libero Taylor Unroe scooped 17 digs against the Bulldogs, continuing her 23-match double-digit dig streak dating back to Nov. 4, 2012. Unroe hasn’t registered a reception error in the last eight matches. The Gator junior was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for her performances against No. 17 FSU, Marquette and Milwaukee.
· Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann turned in her fifth errorless match of the season, hitting .538 with seven kills against Mississippi State. Mann is hitting .465 for her career, as she is the NCAA active leader in the category and sits just behind NCAA record holder in career hitting percentage, Penn State's Arielle Wilson (.468).
· Senior setter Taylor Brauneis dished out 36 assists for the Orange and Blue, coupling that tally with 11 digs for her sixth double-double of her career and third of the season. Brauneis set Florida to a .330 hitting percentage, the 10th time the Gators have hit above .300 in 2013.
· Florida is now 43-0 all-time against Mississippi State and the Gators haven’t dropped a set to the Bulldogs since 2009.
Not On Our Watch: Florida has forced nine of its 13 opponents to operate at under .200 hitting efficiency, including three offensive outputs at .000 and below. The Gators held the Bulldogs to a .179 hitting percentage Friday night.
NCAA Numbers: Senior Chloe Mann is fourth in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.502), while the Gators are fourth in the nation with a .333 offensive clip. Senior setter Taylor Brauneis is 12th in assists (11.61/set) and 18th in aces (.53/set).
Mary’s Minute: “This is life on the road in this league. Mississippi State played very well and I thought they were really good, especially their young players. We were not as clean as we’re capable of but we rode the arm of Gabby Mallette and had some good service runs.”
Mary by the Numbers:
At Florida: 698-81
Records: Florida: 12-1 (1-0 SEC), Mississippi State: 9-6 (0-1 SEC)
Up Next: Florida stays in the Magnolia State and travels north to Oxford to take on Ole Miss Sunday. The Gators and the Rebels match up at 2:30 p.m. ET at Gillom Sports Center. Ole Miss dropped a tight three-set match to Arkansas Friday evening.
Rebel to Watch: Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair has returned after a stellar freshman campaign for which she was named Freshman All-SEC. Clair is averaging 2.23 kills per set and 1.27 blocks per set so far this season and was recently named the Rebel Classic MVP.
All-Time: Against Ole Miss, Florida is 42-3 all-time and an undefeated 36-0 under head coach Mary Wise.
On The Horizon: Florida has a split weekend as the Gators return to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center to host Texas A&M on Friday, October 4 at 7 p.m. ET on Sun Sports. Florida then travels to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 6.
Preseason Buzz: Florida was picked to win the Southeastern Conference title in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches, while senior middle blocker Chloe Mann and sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek were named Preseason All-SEC. Mann was also recently named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award and is representing the Gators with a blog on ESPNW.
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’ next televised match is Friday, October 4 at home against Texas A&M.
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.
Saturday, September 29