Thursday October 17, 2013No. 2 Gators Hit the Road to Face Arkansas and No. 18 Missouri
The No. 2 Florida volleyball team looks to stay undefeated in Southeastern Conference action this weekend, traveling to Arkansas and No. 18 Missouri. The Gators face the Razorbacks Friday, October 18 at 8 p.m. ET and take on the undefeated Tigers at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 20.
Both matches will air live on ESPN 850/GatorZone.com with live video available Friday on GatorVision and Sunday on MUTigers.com.
Last Time Out: The No. 2 Gators swept both opponents last weekend, defeating then-No. 15 Kentucky and Georgia in three sets apiece. Florida has not dropped a set in league action in 2013 and the Gators’ last set lost was the third set against Western Michigan on Sept. 14. Freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston tied her career high with 13 kills to lead the Gators over the Wildcats and turned in a match-high .667 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette added 12 kills and senior middle blocker Chloe Mann and sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek each tallied 11. Against the Bulldogs, Mann notched a match-high 12.5 points, tallying 11 kills and two blocks. Holston also turned in 11 kills against Georgia, hitting .714 on the afternoon.
Chloe’s a “Mann”ster: Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann is hitting .477 for her career and is the Florida career record holder in the category. The reigning SEC Player of the Year is the NCAA active leader in hitting percentage and sits just above the NCAA record holder in career hitting percentage, Penn State's Arielle Wilson (.468). Mann needs 197 more attempts to be eligible for the NCAA record (approx. 16 attacks/reg. season match).
NCAA Numbers: Senior Chloe Mann leads the NCAA in hitting percentage (.540), while the Gators are also second in the nation with a .351 offensive clip. Freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston is fifth in the nation with a.454 hitting percentage and senior setter Taylor Brauneis is seventh in assists (11.86/set).
Not On Our Watch: Florida has forced 14 of its 18 opponents to operate at under .200 hitting efficiency, including three offensive outputs at .000 and below. The Gators held the Wildcats to .188 on Friday and the Bulldogs to just .032 on Sunday, including -.103 in the second set.
Razorback to Watch: Junior outside hitter Meredith Hays is third in the SEC in kills/set (4.04) and points/set (4.54), seeing action in all 18 matches for the Razorbacks and leading the team with 271 kills on the season.
Tigers to Watch: Both senior outside hitter Lisa Henning and senior setter Molly Kreklow have been lethal in 2013, aiding Mizzou to an undefeated 21-0 record. The Tigers have the No. 1 offense in the country ahead of Florida, hitting .378, and Henning is averaging 4.31 kills/set so far this season.
Mary’s Minute: “Arkansas draws well and they have one of our favorite venues. There’s so much playing surface and they get great crowds. They have a very high energy atmosphere. They’re coming off a win Sunday and they have a veteran team, especially with their senior setter, and they play very well against us. The results of the last few years show that. This is a Missouri team that’s undefeated. They’re 21-0. You think our numbers are good? This is a team, across the stat sheets, that is leading the SEC in every category. This weekend is going to be a great challenge for us.”
Mary by the Numbers:
At Florida: 703-81
Records: No. 2 Florida: 17-1 (6-0 SEC), Arkansas: 12-6 (5-2 SEC), No. 18 Missouri (21-0, 5-0 SEC)
All-Time: The Gators are 3-0 all-time against Missouri, sweeping the Tigers in both meetings a year ago. Florida owns a 34-2 record over the Razorbacks, with all 36 matches coming in the Mary Wise era. Two of the last three meetings have gone to five sets, including a 3-2 comeback thriller in Fayetteville in 2011.
On The Horizon: Florida returns to the O’Connell Center to host Auburn and Tennessee on Friday and Sunday, October 25 and 27. The Gators and the Tigers match up at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, October 25 and the Gators look to earn their first win over the Lady Vols since 2010 on Sunday, October 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
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 27 against Tennessee.
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.
Friday, October 18
Sunday, October 13