Florida Gators Volleyball ready for NCAA play

By: Shauni Lynch

The Florida Gators scored the No. 8 seed for the 2014 NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Gators will host Alabama State (20-18) on Friday, December 5th following a match between UCF (25-7) and Miami (Fla.) (21-8). The winner of each match will compete against each other in the second round on Saturday in the O’Dome.

2014 NCAA Volleyball Bracket

As Florida enters the 2014 NCAA Volleyball Championship and prepare in hopes to take home the trophy, its easy to look back on the regular season and see that the Gators have put up some pretty impressive statistics. Below are just some of the highlights the Gators have achieved as a team and individually on their road to victory.

As a team:

The Gators finished regular season play 25-3 and undefeated in the SEC, crowning them the SEC Champion. Florida holds a 20game consecutive winning streak, which is currently the fourth longest in the country. The team has also forced its opponent to operate below a .197 clip in 20 matches this season, including 16 of its 18 SEC matches.

The Orange and Blue also showed dominance when it came to choosing the All-SEC team. Five Gators landed spots on the team and Mary Wise was honored as SEC Coach of the Year. Alex Holston was named SEC Player of the Year, Rhamat Alhassan the SEC Freshman of the Year and Holly Pole the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year to round up the individual awards. Simone Antwi, Mackenzie Dagostino and Gabby Mallette were also named to the All-SEC team to make up five of the 18 members, the most out of any school.

As individuals:

Sophomore ride side Alex Holston was named SEC Offensive Player of the week four times and Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the week once. She led Florida in kills (386) and total points (431.5).

Senior Taylor Unroe helped lead Florida’s defense and also became just the second player in Florida’s history to eclipse 1,500 career digs.

Freshman middle back Rhamat Alhassan led the Gators in blocks as well ranking No.2 in blocks in the SEC with an average of 1.31 blocks per set. She is No. 1 in the SEC in hitting efficiency with a .456 clip and was named SEC Freshman of the Week four times in addition to SEC Offensive Player of the Week and National Player of the week once.

Senior libero Holly Pole led Florida’s defense with over 300 digs on the season with an average of 3.40 per set and registering No. 9 in the SEC for digs. Pole racked up two Defensive Player of the Week accolades and consistently leads Florida’s back row with a nearly perfect reception percentage.

Junior setter Mackenzie Dagostino reeled in one SEC Offensive player of the week and is Florida’s leading server. She is No. 2 in the SEC in serving assists with an average of 11.41 per set and 1,130 on the season. Dagostino also leads the SEC in service aces with 43 and is No. 7 in the SEC alongside her three double-doubles this season.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.