Friday November 22, 2013Senior Sweep: No. 7 Gators Sweep LSU in Regular-Season Home Finale on Senior Night
Seniors Taylor Brauneis and Chloe Mann celebrated a sweep over LSU on Senior Night, UF's regular-season home finale.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Friday night in the O’Connell Center was all about Gator volleyball seniors Taylor Brauneis and Chloe Mann, as a crowd of 2,626 celebrated the duo’s contributions to the Florida program in a pre-match ceremony prior to UF’s sweep against LSU (25-16, 25-19, 25-20) in the Gators’ regular-season home finale.
Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette turned in a career night with 15 kills and her third-best hitting efficiency of the season (.458), while Mann was a monster, registering her second-highest hitting percentage of the conference season (.714) with 10 errorless kills. For Mann, Friday marked her ninth SEC match with double-digit slams, thanks in part to Brauneis, who dished up 39 assists, her most since Nov. 3 at Texas A&M.
· For senior middle blocker Chloe Mann, Friday marked her fourth three-set SEC match with double-digit kills (10) and zero errors, while her .714 hitting percentage was her highest since Oct. 6 at Alabama (.737). Mann also led UF with two blocks against the Tigers
· On senior night, setter Taylor Brauneis paced UF with 39 assists, all but two for the Gators. Brauneis’ 39 marked her most in a sweep since Oct. 13 against Georgia (43)
· Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette swung for 15 kills Friday evening, tying a career-best mark. Mallette’s .458 hitting efficiency was her third best in league play and on the season. Her 15 points additionally tied a career high as a Gator
· Florida has now had five or more service aces in nine of its last 11 matches. The Orange and Blue turned in six aces against the Tigers, led by a new season high from sophomore middle Simone Antwi, who contributed half (3). Classmates Živa Recek (2) and Nikki O’Rourke (1) combined for the other three
· Antwi finished the evening with seven kills, a .385 clip and one dig as well for the Orange and Blue
· Likewise, Recek registered seven kills and rallied for nine digs, second on the Gators’ squad Friday
· The sweep against LSU marked UF’s 12th of the conference slate
· Junior libero Taylor Unroe had a team-high 10 digs on the night for Florida, her second consecutive match in double digits
· Florida celebrated Mann and Brauneis just before first serve. Mann has accumulated a four-year record of 109 wins and just 16 losses donning the Orange and Blue to go with two SEC titles, while Brauneis’ two-year record is 53 wins and just three losses since transferring to UF, including helping the Gators to the 2012 SEC Championship
· Gator freshman outside hitter Denise Belcher and Brauneis sang the National Anthem prior to the Florida/LSU match
“They (the seniors) scripted it pretty well. So appreciative of this crowd – the fan base has been terrific all season. As the seniors were being introduced, the way the crowd applauded, how they held the applause and the way they celebrated match point, the fans understand that the combination of a senior setter, senior middle – the all-time hitting percentage leader in NCAA history – doesn’t come around very often. If there was a pause button and I could keep them here, I would, but we understand graduation is all part of the gig.”
On the interaction of Taylor B. and Chloe in the match, having fun after an emotional celebration prior:
“They played that way. It says a lot about those seniors because we have had seniors in the past where it was hard for them to get into the flow of the game because there was so much emotion spent prior. They (Taylor B. and Chloe) played like they love the game, and as a coach, you can’t ask for anything more.”
MARY BY THE NUMBERS
At Florida: 712-83 | All-Time: 793-146
RECORDS: UF (25-3, 14-2 SEC) | LSU (10-17, 6-9 SEC)
ALL-TIME AGAINST LSU: The Gators improved to 37-13 against LSU (34-5 under Wise) with Friday’s Senior Night victory and improved their win streak over the Tigers to seven matches.
NOT ON OUR WATCH: Florida has forced 20 of its 29 opponents to operate at under .200 hitting efficiency, including three offensive outputs at .000 and below. While LSU hit .214 for the match, the Gators limited the Tigers to .065 in the first set and .192 in the second.
CHLOE’S A “MANN”STER: Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann is hitting .473 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 is first in the NCAA record book in career hitting percentage, ahead of Penn State’s Arielle Wilson (.468).
NCAA NUMBERS: Senior Chloe Mann leads the NCAA in hitting percentage (.505), while the Gators are second in the nation with a .334 offensive clip. Senior setter Taylor Brauneis checks in 14th in assists (11.55/set) in the country.
UP NEXT: The Gators hit the road for the final time in 2013 - and the regular-season finale - in Lexington next week. UF is 47-10 all-time against Kentucky, including 45-3 under head coach Mary Wise. The Gators have won seven of the last eight match-ups against the Wildcats and swept UK at home in Gainesville Oct. 11 (25-20, 25-20, 25-20).
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.
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.