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Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann had a team-best 19 kills in UF's five-set thriller against Kentucky.

Wednesday November 27, 2013No. 6 Gators Gut Out Five-Set Thriller Over No. 17 Kentucky to Close Conference Action

Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann had a team-best 19 kills in UF's five-set thriller against Kentucky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 6 Florida volleyball team wrapped up the regular-season slate Wednesday with a gutsy five-set victory (25-11, 28-26, 22-25, 18-25, 15-10) over No. 17 Kentucky in Lexington, the fourth top-25 victory for the Gators this season. Florida staved off a comeback from the Wildcats, who rallied from down two sets to force a fifth set.

 

Senior middle blocker Chloe Mann notched a team-best 19 kills to lead the Orange and Blue, her most since a career-high 22 slams at Texas A&M in early November. Sophomore middle blocker Simone Antwi turned in a career night with 14 kills against UK, registering a .520 clip on the evening, while junior libero Taylor Unroe had a stellar night from behind the end line, serving up five aces, including two straight to end the second set and an ace on match point to seal the victory for the Gators.

 

Florida will now await its NCAA Tournament fate, announced Sunday, Dec. 1, on the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

 

QUICK HITS

·         Wednesday’s match marked UF’s seventh top-25 match-up of the 2013 season, while the victory was the Gators’ fourth over a ranked opponent this season

·         The Gators improved to 2-0 this season in five-set matches (last vs. TAMU Nov. 3) and went into extra sets for just the eighth time in 2013

·         Junior libero Taylor Unroe sent over five aces against Kentucky, her second-highest output this season and most since a career-high six at Texas A&M Nov. 3

·         Wednesday’s match marked the third time in UF’s last seven outings that Unroe has ended the match with a service ace

·         Florida had 10 service aces on the evening against Kentucky, its most since Nov. 13 vs. South Carolina (11) and the third time the Gators have had 10 or more this season. In addition to Unroe’s five, sophomore defensive specialist Nikki O’Rourke contributed a career-high three

·         Unroe led the back-row charge for UF with 19 digs, her third consecutive match with double-digit scoops and the most for her since Nov. 1 at LSU (21). Three other Gators notched double-digit digs: sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek (12), O’Rourke (10) and junior defensive specialist Holly Pole (12)

·         For the first time this season, sophomore outside hitter Gabby Mallette stepped behind the service line for the Gators. At the end of the second set, Mallette served up an ace and put two points in the Gators’ pocket, aiding them in the second-set victory

·         In addition to senior middle blocker Chloe Mann’s 19 kills, the UF middle blocker additionally chipped in a team-best six blocks and block assists, her highest outputs since Oct. 18 at Arkansas. For Mann, Wednesday marked her 10th SEC match with double-digit slams

·         Sophomore middle blocker Simone Antwi’s .520 clip marked the eighth time this season she’s hit above .500

·         Recek tallied her ninth double-double this season, the 18th of her career, with 10 kills and 12 digs

 

MARY’S MINUTE

“You couldn’t ask for a better ending to play against Kentucky on their home court, as well as they played. Whitney Billings showed why she one of the country’s best all-around players. She was outstanding tonight in her double-double (20K, 18D) performance. We had some key plays and this was a night when everyone knew Chloe was going to get the ball. She delivered. For a middle to get 19 kills against a Kentucky team that’s playing that well defensively, tells you what a special night Chloe had.”

 

MARY BY THE NUMBERS

At Florida: 713-83 | All-Time: 794-146

 

RECORDS: UF: 27-3 (16-2 SEC) | Kentucky: 21-8 (13-5 SEC)

 

ALL-TIME AGAINST KENTUCKY: UF is 48-10 all-time against UK, including 46-3 under head coach Mary Wise. The Gators have now won eight of the last nine match-ups against the Wildcats.

 

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 (.503), while the Gators are second in the nation with a .331 offensive clip. Senior setter Taylor Brauneis is 13th in assists (11.48/set).

 

UP NEXT: The Orange and Blue will enjoy a holiday break before the 2013 NCAA Volleyball Selection Show, slated for Sunday, Dec. 1, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

 

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.

 

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