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Thursday October 24, 2013No. 5 Gators Look to Rebound with Home SEC Weekend vs. Auburn and Tennessee

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 5 Florida volleyball team welcomes Auburn and Tennessee to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center this weekend. The Gators and the Tigers match up at 7 p.m. ET Friday, October 25. The Orange and Blue then host longtime Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee on Sunday, October 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET.


Sun Sports will air Sunday’s match between the Gators and the Lady Vols live with Larry Vettel and former Gator All-SEC setter Missy Whittemore on the call. Both matches will air live on ESPN 850/ with live video available on GatorVision.


Last Time Out: The then-No. 2 Gator volleyball team split the weekend, taking down a tough Arkansas team in four sets Friday night before dropping a tight four-set match to undefeated No. 18 Missouri Sunday. Friday night, sophomore middle blocker Simone Antwi notched a team-high 16.5 points to go with a squad-best .478 hitting efficiency while she and three other Gators [Živa Recek (13), Chloe Mann (13), Antwi (12) and Gabby Mallette (10)] notched double-digit kills. Alex Holston led all players with a career-high 17 kills Sunday against the Tigers, hitting .583 on the afternoon. Recek turned in the 15th double-double of her Gator career, the sixth of 2013, with 15 kills and 10 digs for a match-high 17.5 points. Mann also had double-digit kills, tallying 11 on the afternoon. Junior libero Taylor Unroe led the Gator defense with a match-high 18 digs against the Tigers.

Chloe’s a “Mann”ster: Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann is hitting .471 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 149 more attempts to be eligible for the NCAA record (approx. 15 attacks/reg. season match).


NCAA Numbers: Senior Chloe Mann leads the NCAA in hitting percentage (.511), while the Gators are second in the nation with a .336 offensive clip and also second in kills per set with 15.17. Freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston is fifth in the nation with a.463 hitting percentage and senior setter Taylor Brauneis is sixth in assists (11.81/set).


Not On Our Watch: Florida has forced 15 of its 20 opponents to operate at under .200 hitting efficiency, including three offensive outputs at .000 and below. The Gators held the Razorbacks to .075 hitting efficiency on Friday, including -.100 in the second set and -.148 in the fourth and final set.


Tiger to Watch: Senior libero Sarah Wroblicky ranks third in the SEC with 4.50 digs/set and 315 on the year. Wroblicky was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in four-set victories over LSU and Texas A&M.


Lady Vol to Watch: Senior libero Ellen Mullins leads the NCAA with 6.07 digs/set and 461 on the year. She was the MVP of the Country Inn and Suites Invitational and is a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week selection in 2013. Mullins has set three school records for single-match marks for digs in a 3-set, 4-set and 5-set match this season.


Mary’s Minute: “Now we go on to the second half of the SEC season and as luck would have it, we play Auburn who has got things going having won three straight. All of the attention right now is focused on facing Auburn and Tennessee this weekend.”


Mary by the Numbers:

                At Florida: 704-82

                All-Time: 785-145


Records: No. 2 Florida: 18-2 (7-1 SEC), Auburn: 12-7 (3-4 SEC), Tennessee 8-13 (0-7 SEC)


All-Time: The Gators are 40-1 all-time against Auburn, including 36-0 under Wise. Four of the last five matches have been sweeps but last year’s match at Auburn was a four-set affair. Florida is 42-12 all-time against Tennessee, including 38-7 under Wise. The Gators are looking to stop a three-match skid to the Lady Vols, dropping extra-set contests in 2011 (2-3, 1-3) and 2012 (2-3).


On The Horizon: Florida hits the road for its final full SEC road trip, taking on LSU in Baton Rouge for the first time since 2011. That match will air on GatorVision at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, November 1 with the radio call on ESPN850/ Sunday, the Gators play in their first nationally-televised match of the season, facing Texas A&M in College Station at 2 p.m. ET on November 3. ESPNU will air the match live as the Gators look to sweep the Aggies on the season.


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 25

7:00 P.M. ET         Florida vs. Auburn               Live Stats              Radio     Live Video


Sunday, October 27

1:30 P.M. ET         Florida vs. Tennessee        Live Stats              Radio     Live Video

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