Florida Gators volleyball to host a top-10 match-up

Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida, the nation’s only remaining undefeated team, travels to Ole Miss Friday night and returns to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for the third top-10 matchup in SEC history Sunday, when it faces No. 8 Kentucky at 1 p.m.

 

Fans can gain free entry into Sunday’s match with a valid ticket from Saturday night’s Florida-Texas A&M football game.

 

Florida will once again utilize its 3D court projection video for introductions. Through its partnership with Quince Imaging, as well as composition assistance from Old Hat Creative, the Gators’ court projection went viral across the college volleyball landscape upon its debut prior to last month’s Florida-Florida State match.

 

The top-ranked Gators (13-0, 5-0 SEC) posted a 3-1 win over Texas A&M and a sweep of Georgia last week, setting up the historic showdown with the Wildcats (15-2, 6-0). Florida and Kentucky, chosen by the league’s coaches as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the preseason, are the only teams with unblemished SEC records.

 

Florida’s road trip to Oxford is not to be overlooked, though, as the Rebels lead the SEC in digs per set and took the Gators to four sets last year.

 

Head coach Mary Wise, now in her 27th season with the Gators and 31st overall as a head coach, enters the weekend with 888 career victories, tied for the seventh-most in Division I history. A win would break the tie with former Pacific and Stanford head coach John Dunning for the seventh-most wins in Division I history and 13th-most wins in NCAA history (all three divisions). Wise became the all-time Division I wins leader among female head coaches following last Wednesday’s win over Texas A&M.

 

SUNDAY PROMOTIONS

  • Orange “Point Florida” T-Shirt Giveaway – First 500 general fans (pickup at merchandise booth on the right half of atrium); First 500 students (pickup at Gate 3 after entering arena)
  • Student Tailgate (inside at Gate 3) – FREE brunch (Krispy Kreme donuts, coffee, Gatorade, orange juice)
  • Honorary First Serve – Cam Newbauer, UF women’s basketball head coach
  • Kid’s Korner (Gate 4 lobby) – Poster-making station; photo booth
  • Post-match autographs

 

BROADCAST INFORMATION | Match Notes

Friday, Oct. 13 at Ole Miss | 7:30 p.m. ET

Streaming: SEC Network + (via Watch ESPN) | Radio: Audio Stream [Tom Collett] (also available via ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM) | Live Stats

 

Sunday, Oct. 15 vs. No. 8 Kentucky | 1 p.m. ET

TV: SEC Network [Tiffany Greene & Missy Whittemore] | Streaming: Watch ESPN | Radio: Audio Stream [Tom Collett & Josh Crow] (also available via ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM) | Live Stats

 

NOTABLE NEWS & NUMBERS (national stat rankings updated through Oct. 11)

  • If the Gators defeat Kentucky, they will be the only team in the nation with three wins over opponents ranked No. 6 or higher in the current RPI
  • Also with a win, Florida would join Michigan State and Nebraska as the only other team in the nation with three wins over AVCA top-10 teams

o    Florida has beaten three AVCA top-10 teams in a regular season twice in program history (1997, 2010)

  • Florida boasts a 31-2 all-time record as the nation’s No. 1 team, including a 26-0 record during the regular season
  • Florida is one of two teams in the nation (Texas) ranked in the top 15 in opponent hitting percentage (6th) and hitting percentage (15th)
  • Florida is one of four teams (Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin) with two players ranked inside the top 40 nationally in hitting percentage
  • The Gators rank fifth nationally in blocks per set (3.13), and they have 10-plus blocks in 10 of their 13 matches
  • Florida posted 12 and 13 blocks, respectively, in their two matches last week, marking the fifth time in the last seven matches it reached that total
  • Florida has held 12 of its first 13 opponents under a .185 hitting percentage (Arkansas, .253, was the only foe to eclipse that efficiency)
  • Rhamat Alhassan ranks second nationally in blocks per set (1.72) and tied for 38th in hitting percentage (.387)
  • Rachael Kramer is tied for fifth nationally and leads the SEC in hitting percentage (.434)
  • Carli Snyder is tied for fourth in the nation and leads the SEC in service aces per set (0.57)
  • Cheyenne Huskey ranks fifth in the SEC and tied for 61st nationally in blocks per set (1.23)

o    Huskey is the only setter ranked higher than 144th nationally

  • Shainah Joseph ranks 10th in the SEC in hitting percentage (.327)

 

SCOUTING THE REBELS

Ole Miss (12-7, 3-3 SEC) | 2016 synopsis: 17-14 overall, 6-12 SEC

  • Series History: Florida leads, 48-3 (42-0 under Mary Wise)
  • 3-set: 41-0 | 4-set: 4-1 | 5-set: 3-2
  • Home: 22-0 | Away: 23-3 | Neutral: 3-0
  • Last Time Out: Oct. 28, 2016 in Gainesville à W, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 27-25)

 

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS

No. 8 Kentucky (15-2, 6-0 SEC) | 2016 synopsis: 23-8 overall, 15-3 SEC (t-3rd) | NCAA Tournament Second Round

  • Series History: Florida leads, 50-12 (48-5 under Mary Wise)
  • 3-set: 35-6 | 4-set: 9-1 | 5-set: 6-5
  • Home: 24-6 | Away: 22-5 | Neutral: 4-1
  • Last Time Out: Sept. 28, 2016 in Gainesville à L, 0-3 (17-25, 18-25, 23-25)
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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.