Wednesday November 13, 2013No. 5 Gators Cruise Past Gamecocks; Set Sights on No. 7 Mizzou Friday
Sophomore Ziva Recek had a match high 15 kills, 18 points and three service aces in UF's sweep against USC
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 5 University of Florida volleyball team swept South Carolina (25-15, 25-9, 25-22) in a mid-week clash on ESPNU behind the performance of sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek, who had match highs of 15 kills and 18 points, a season-high three service aces and a team-high nine digs. The win for the Gators marked their 14th straight over the Gamecocks and kicked off a three-match homestand for the Orange and Blue.
As a team, the Gators served up eight aces, tying a season high in three-set SEC matches. In addition to Recek’s three aces, junior defensive specialist Holly Pole and junior libero Taylor Unroe had two each, including Unroe’s second consecutive for match point. Florida also had eight service aces in the sweep at Mississippi State Sept. 27.
· Florida’s tilt with South Carolina on ESPNU marked the first time since 2011 that the network has broadcasted a UF volleyball match in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center
· With the sweep of South Carolina, Florida improved to an undefeated 13-0 at home this season
· In the second set, the Gators held the Gamecocks to nine points, the fifth time this season Florida has held its opponent to single-digit points in a set, the third time in SEC play. Florida held New Orleans to seven and nine points, respectively, in the first and second sets of the season opener, while limiting Texas A&M to nine points in the opening set Oct. 4 and eight points in the third set Nov. 3
· Florida hit .372 against South Carolina, its third-highest efficiency in conference play
· Sophomore Živa Recek slammed a match-high 15 kills, the most for her in a three-set match since Sept. 29, at Ole Miss (16). Recek hit a team-high-tying .500 offensive efficiency, her best in conference play thus far
· Sophomore Simone Antwi tallied eight kills and also had a team-high-tying .500 hitting clip. Antwi added three blocks for a total of 10 points
· Senior Chloe Mann notched seven kills, while freshman Alex Holston and sophomore Gabby Mallette contributed six each
· Setters Taylor Brauneis and Mackenzie Dagostino both recorded double-digit assists with 28 and 10, respectively
· Holston squared off with a familiar face on the other side of the net Friday, as cousin Darian Dozier is a sophomore middle blocker for the Gamecocks
· Freshman Denise Belcher got in on the action in set two Wednesday, her sixth appearance as a Gator this season
· The Gators/Gamecocks match-up was UF’s first contest in the O’Dome since Oct. 27 and kicked off a home stand that features Florida in the O’Dome three times in a span of five days with No. 7 Missouri (11/15) and Alabama (11/17) slated to visit UF this weekend. Florida’s final home match of the season – and Senior Night – will be Nov. 22 vs. LSU
MARY’S MINUTE: “Some good things happened (tonight), like the connection between both setters and our left sides – Živa and Gabby hit the ball very well. I’d like to think the first two sets were more indicative of the progress we’ve made taking advantage of a weekend not playing.”
On facing No. 7 Mizzou Friday
“Missouri is as talented a team that we’ve faced in the O’Connell Center in years. It all starts with their senior setter (Molly Kreklow) – one of the best setters in the country and that offense goes through her and it is elite. The strides they have made this year are in the defensive part of their game. They’ve always been a good blocking team, but their back row defense – they just make plays. They are very talented, have a high volleyball IQ; they beat us in Columbia and didn’t give away points. We’ll have to earn every single point. Against good teams, that’s what you have to do.”
MARY BY THE NUMBERS:
At Florida: 709-82 | All-Time: 790-145
RECORDS: UF (23-2, 12-1 SEC) | S. Carolina (12-14, 3-10 SEC)
ALL-TIME AGAINST USC: The Gators opened the contest against the Gamecocks riding a 13-match win streak dating back to 2006 and kept to their winning ways with a sweep Wednesday – the 11th sweep in the last 14 meetings between the two squads.
CHLOE’S A “MANN”STER: Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann is hitting .474 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 45 more attempts to be eligible for the NCAA record (9 attacks/reg. season match).
NOT ON OUR WATCH: Florida has forced 19 of its 24 opponents to operate at under .200 hitting efficiency, including three offensive outputs at .000 and below. The Gamecocks hit .059 on Wednesday, including .000 in the first set, .100 in the second and .091 in the third and final set
NCAA NUMBERS: Senior Chloe Mann leads the NCAA in hitting percentage (.510), while the Gators are second in the nation with a .331 offensive clip. Freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston is 14th in the country with a .414 hitting percentage and senior setter Taylor Brauneis is 14th in assists (11.50/set).
UP NEXT: No. 7 Missouri (29-0, 13-0 SEC) – GATOR5K- Pack the O’Dome | Nov. 15, 7 p.m. | Sun Sports
· Florida plays host to No. 7 Mizzou Friday at 7 p.m. on Sun Sports in the O’Dome. The Tigers served the Gators their lone league loss of the season Oct. 20 in Columbia (3-1)
· The first 1,000 fans will get a Point Florida t-shirt
· The UF vs. Missouri match will be the first top-10 SEC match (any team) since the Gators (10) and LSU Tigers (6) squared off in Baton Rouge Nov. 24, 1991, head coach Mary Wise’s first season in Gainesville to wrap up regular-season play
· Florida has never hosted a top-10 SEC match-up in the O’Dome under Wise, therefore, has not lost to a top-10 SEC opponent in the O’Dome
· Mizzou has never defeated a top-five team on the road
· The last top-10 match-up in the O’Dome was Sept. 10, 2010: No. 4 UF vs. No. 1 Penn State in the Nike Big Four Classic
· The Orange and Blue have 30 top-10 wins under Wise, two of those to SEC opponents, while 12 of the 30 top-10 wins have come in front of a home crowd in the O’Connell Center
UPCOMING BROADCAST INFORMATION:
VOTE FOR CHLOE: Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann is one of ten NCAA® women’s volleyball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court to be selected as finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. Fans can vote for Chloe here once a day, every day until December 9.
NOVEMBER FOOD DRIVE: For the month of November, the Gators have teamed up with the Alachua County Strike Out Hunger Initiative and will be collecting canned foods at each of UF’s final four home matches of the season. Any fan that donates two canned food items or more will receive a coupon good for a Buy One Get One Free Ticket for the 11.22 match versus LSU (Senior Night).
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.