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Bowers named SEC Scholar-Athlete

Written by gcstaff, December 1, 2008, 0 Comments,
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Florida senior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers of Gainesville is the Southeastern Conference Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, it was announced Monday by the league offices in Birmingham, Ala.

Freshman right-side/setter Kelly Murphy was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, leading a quartet of Gators who were honored with All-SEC recognition. Murphy also was named to the All-SEC first team and the All-Freshmen team. Junior libero Elyse Cusack was named to the All-SEC second team, while redshirt freshman outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel and freshman outside hitter Colleen Ward joined the 6-foot-2 Murphy on the All-Freshmen team.

Bowers has a 3.92 grade-point average in public relations with a minor in Italian. She becomes the first Florida player to earn the award, which is in its sixth year. Bowers is a three-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. This year, she was a first-team Academic All-District selection and a second-team Academic All-American.

On the court, Bowers is one of only seven players in school history to have eclipsed the 400-block plateau for her career and just the 17th to have recorded 300 or more career blocks. She currently ranks seventh on the school’s all-time career total blocks list with 417. She has either led or tied for the team lead in blocks per set on 12 occasions this season.

NCAA TOURNAMENT: For the 18th consecutive season and 19th time in school history, the Florida volleyball team made the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament. The Gators earned the No. 15 overal seed and begin their quest for the title Friday against Florida A&M at 7:30 p.m. in the O’Connell Center.

This also marks the 17th time in the last 18 years that coach Mary Wise’s Gators (25-3 overall, 18-2 in the SEC) have hosted opening-round contests. Colorado State and Florida International will play in the first match Friday at 5 p.m. The two winners meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with the winner of that second-round match advancing to the Palo Alto Regional semifinals.

The Gators are coming off their 18th consecutive SEC title after posting a hard-fought, five-set victory at South Carolina last Wednesday night and then concluding the regular season with a 3-0 sweep at UNLV Saturday night.

“Any team that has the opportunity to play at home, history has shown has a real advantage,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “I think the growth of the level of play in the field of women’s volleyball is indicated throughout the bracket.”

Florida is led by Murphy, who ranks sixth in the SEC in kills per set with 3.29 and second in the league in hitting efficiency with a .360 clip. She also leads the team in total points (386) and is second in assists per set (5.58 per set) and digs per set (1.89 per set). Jaeckel is 10th in the league with 3.04 kills per set, while Ward follows with 2.34 kills per set. Cusack became the first player in school history to eclipse the 1,600-dig mark for her career. She ranks second in the SEC in digs per set with 4.69 and third in service aces with 0.39.

Florida A&M captured its eighth consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title this season with a 3-2 win against Maryland-Eastern Shore in the league tournament championship game. The Rattlers are 14-12 overall. Despite a small roster of eight players, the Rattlers have been the MEAC’s most successful team for nearly a decade under coach Tony Trifonov. The Rattlers are led by Jovana Blazeski, a 6-foot-2 sophomore outside hitter from Belgrade, Serbia. She averages a squad-best 3.81 kills and 3.01 digs per set. She is joined by senior middle blocker Samara Ferrez, a 6-foot-1 senior from Brazil who was the 2008 MEAC Outstanding Performer. She averages 3.72 kills per set on a squad-best .332 hitting with a team-high 0.45 blocks per set.

Florida is 47-18 in NCAA tournament action, including 46-17 under Wise. Florida has advanced to the regional in 16 of Wise’s previous 17 seasons and has reached the national semifinals on seven occasions.

Defending national champion Penn State received the No. 1 seed, Stanford was No. 2, Texas was No. 3 and Nebraska was No. 4.

Ticket packages for both days are available in advance through the Gator Ticket Office for $10 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens and $4 for children 12-and-under. Single-session tickets are available Friday and Saturday at $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and $4 for children 12-and-under.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT

STATE COLLEGE, PA. REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At State College, Pa.

Yale (20-5) vs. Ohio (24-7), 3:30 p.m.

Long Island (19-11) vs. Penn State (32-0), 6 p.m.

At Dayton, Ohio

Western Michigan (26-6) vs. Dayton (21-12)

Tennessee Tech (19-12) vs. Tulane (27-5)

At Champaign, Ill.

Milwaukee (23-8) vs. Illinois (24-7)

Cincinnati (26-6) vs. Western Kentucky (26-9)

At Berkeley, Calif.

New Mexico State (25-8) vs. St. Mary’s (Calif.) (20-7), 9 p.m.

Siena (20-12) vs. California (23-6), 11 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Saturday, Dec. 6

At State College, Pa.

Long Island-Penn State winner vs. Yale-Ohio winner

At Dayton, Ohio

Western Michigan-Dayton winner vs. Tennessee Tech-Tulane winner

At Champaign, Ill.

Milwaukee-Illinois winner vs. Cincinnati-Western Kentucky winner

At Berkeley, Calif.

New Mexico State-St. Mary’s (Calif.) winner vs. Siena-California winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At State College, Pa.

Friday, Dec. 12

Long Island-Penn State/Yale-Ohio winner vs. Western Michigan-Dayton/Tennessee Tech-Tulane winner

Milwaukee-Illinois/Cincinnati-Western Kentucky winner vs. New Mexico State-St. Mary’s (Calif.)/Siena-California winner

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At State College, Pa.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Semifinal winners

SEATTLE REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

Thursday, Dec. 4

At Lexington, Ky.

Saint Louis (28-4) vs. Alabama A&M (12-14), 5 p.m.

Michigan (24-8) vs. Kentucky (26-5), 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 5

At Seattle, Wash.

Santa Clara (17-9) vs. Kansas State (24-7), 5 p.m.

Portland State (20-8) vs. Washington (24-4), 7 p.m.

At Clemson, S.C.

Furman (21-13) vs. Utah (24-5), 5 p.m.

Tennessee (22-9) vs. Clemson (22-9), 7 p.m.

At Lincoln, Neb.

UAB (26-7) vs. Missouri State (23-12), 5:30 p.m.

Liberty (25-8) vs. Nebraska (27-2), 8 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At Lexington, Ky.

Saint Louis-Alabama A&M winner vs. Michigan-Kentucky winner

Saturday, Dec. 6

At Seattle, Wash.

Portland State-Washington winner vs. Santa Clara-Kansas State winner

At Clemson, S.C.

Tennessee-Clemson winner vs. Furman-Utah winner

At Lincoln, Neb.

UAB-Missouri State winner vs. Liberty-Nebraska winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Seattle, Wash.

Friday, Dec. 12

Portland State-Washington/Santa Clara-Kansas State winner vs. Tennessee-Clemson/Furman-Utah winner

Saint Louis-Alabama A&M/Michigan-Kentucky winner vs. UAB-Missouri State/Liberty-Nebraska winner

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At Seattle, Wash.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Semifinal winners

FORT COLLINS, COLO. REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

Thursday, Dec. 4

At Los Angeles

Hawaii (28-3) vs. Belmont (25-7), 8 p.m.

San Diego (23-4) vs. Southern California (16-11), 10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 5

At West Lafayette, Ind.

Middle Tennessee (26-7) vs. Miami (Ohio) (21-11), 4 p.m.

Louisville (19-10) vs. Purdue (24-8), 6:30 p.m.

At Gainesville, Fla.

Florida International (28-6) vs. Colorado State (22-6), 5 p.m.

Florida A&M (14-12) vs. Florida (25-3), 7:30 p.m.

At Stanford, Calif.

Pepperdine (20-7) vs. Long Beach State (25-5), 7:30 p.m.

Albany (N.Y.) (23-8) vs. Stanford (26-3), 10 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At Los Angeles

Hawaii-Belmont winner vs. San Diego-Southern California winner

Saturday, Dec. 6

At West Lafayette, Ind.

Middle Tennessee-Miami (Ohio) winner vs. Louisville-Purdue winner

At Gainesville, Fla.

Florida International-Colorado State winner vs. Florida A&M-Florida winner

At Stanford, Calif.

Pepperdine-Long Beach State winner vs. Albany (N.Y.)-Stanford winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Friday, Dec. 12

Hawaii-Belmont/San Diego-Southern California winner vs. Middle Tennessee-Miami (Ohio)/Louisville-Purdue winner

Florida International-Colorado State/Florida A&M-Florida winner vs. Pepperdine-Long Beach State/Albany (N.Y.)-Stanford winner

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Semifinal winners

AUSTIN, TEXAS REGIONAL

FIRSTROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At Austin, Texas

Wichita State (29-1) vs. Rice (23-7), 5:30 p.m.

Lamar (17-11) vs. Texas (25-3), 7:30 p.m.

At Los Angeles

San Francisco (22-7) vs. Duke (24-8), 8:30 p.m.

Louisiana State (18-9) vs. UCLA (20-10), 11 p.m.

At Washington, D.C.

Oregon (23-8) vs. Delaware (19-15), 5 p.m.

North Carolina (21-10) vs. American (24-8), 7 p.m.

At Minneapolis, Minn.

Northern Illinois (25-8) vs. Iowa State (19-12), 6 p.m. 

North Dakota State (24-3) vs. Minnesota (26-6), 8 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Saturday, Dec. 6

At Austin, Texas

Wichita State-Rice winner vs. Lamar-Texas winner

At Los Angeles

San Francisco-Duke winner vs. Louisiana State-UCLA winner

At Washington, D.C.

Oregon-Delaware winner vs. North Carolina-American winner

At Minneapolis, Minn.

Northern Iowa-Iowa State winner vs. North Dakota State-Minnesota winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Austin, Texas

Friday, Dec. 12

Wichita State-Rice/Lamar-Texas winner vs. San Francisco-Duke/Louisiana State-UCLA winner

Oregon-Delaware/North Carolina-American winner vs. Northern Iowa-Iowa State/North Dakota State-Minnesota winner

THE FINAL FOUR

At Qwest Center Omaha

At Omaha, Neb.

Thursday, Dec. 18 semifinals

State College, Pa. regional winner vs. Seattle, Wash. regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m.

Fort Collins, Colo. regional winner vs. Austin, Texas regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20 championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

——————————————————————————–

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Florida senior middle blocker Kelsey Bowers of Gainesville is the Southeastern Conference Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, it was announced Monday by the league offices in Birmingham, Ala.

Freshman right-side/setter Kelly Murphy was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, leading a quartet of Gators who were honored with All-SEC recognition. Murphy also was named to the All-SEC first team and the All-Freshmen team. Junior libero Elyse Cusack was named to the All-SEC second team, while redshirt freshman outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel and freshman outside hitter Colleen Ward joined the 6-foot-2 Murphy on the All-Freshmen team.

Bowers has a 3.92 grade-point average in public relations with a minor in Italian. She becomes the first Florida player to earn the award, which is in its sixth year. Bowers is a three-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. This year, she was a first-team Academic All-District selection and a second-team Academic All-American.

On the court, Bowers is one of only seven players in school history to have eclipsed the 400-block plateau for her career and just the 17th to have recorded 300 or more career blocks. She currently ranks seventh on the school’s all-time career total blocks list with 417. She has either led or tied for the team lead in blocks per set on 12 occasions this season.

NCAA TOURNAMENT: For the 18th consecutive season and 19th time in school history, the Florida volleyball team made the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament. The Gators earned the No. 15 overal seed and begin their quest for the title Friday against Florida A&M at 7:30 p.m. in the O’Connell Center.

This also marks the 17th time in the last 18 years that coach Mary Wise’s Gators (25-3 overall, 18-2 in the SEC) have hosted opening-round contests. Colorado State and Florida International will play in the first match Friday at 5 p.m. The two winners meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with the winner of that second-round match advancing to the Palo Alto Regional semifinals.

The Gators are coming off their 18th consecutive SEC title after posting a hard-fought, five-set victory at South Carolina last Wednesday night and then concluding the regular season with a 3-0 sweep at UNLV Saturday night.

“Any team that has the opportunity to play at home, history has shown has a real advantage,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “I think the growth of the level of play in the field of women’s volleyball is indicated throughout the bracket.”

Florida is led by Murphy, who ranks sixth in the SEC in kills per set with 3.29 and second in the league in hitting efficiency with a .360 clip. She also leads the team in total points (386) and is second in assists per set (5.58 per set) and digs per set (1.89 per set). Jaeckel is 10th in the league with 3.04 kills per set, while Ward follows with 2.34 kills per set. Cusack became the first player in school history to eclipse the 1,600-dig mark for her career. She ranks second in the SEC in digs per set with 4.69 and third in service aces with 0.39.

Florida A&M captured its eighth consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title this season with a 3-2 win against Maryland-Eastern Shore in the league tournament championship game. The Rattlers are 14-12 overall. Despite a small roster of eight players, the Rattlers have been the MEAC’s most successful team for nearly a decade under coach Tony Trifonov. The Rattlers are led by Jovana Blazeski, a 6-foot-2 sophomore outside hitter from Belgrade, Serbia. She averages a squad-best 3.81 kills and 3.01 digs per set. She is joined by senior middle blocker Samara Ferrez, a 6-foot-1 senior from Brazil who was the 2008 MEAC Outstanding Performer. She averages 3.72 kills per set on a squad-best .332 hitting with a team-high 0.45 blocks per set.

Florida is 47-18 in NCAA tournament action, including 46-17 under Wise. Florida has advanced to the regional in 16 of Wise’s previous 17 seasons and has reached the national semifinals on seven occasions.

Defending national champion Penn State received the No. 1 seed, Stanford was No. 2, Texas was No. 3 and Nebraska was No. 4.

Ticket packages for both days are available in advance through the Gator Ticket Office for $10 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens and $4 for children 12-and-under. Single-session tickets are available Friday and Saturday at $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and $4 for children 12-and-under.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT

STATE COLLEGE, PA. REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At State College, Pa.

Yale (20-5) vs. Ohio (24-7), 3:30 p.m.

Long Island (19-11) vs. Penn State (32-0), 6 p.m.

At Dayton, Ohio

Western Michigan (26-6) vs. Dayton (21-12)

Tennessee Tech (19-12) vs. Tulane (27-5)

At Champaign, Ill.

Milwaukee (23-8) vs. Illinois (24-7)

Cincinnati (26-6) vs. Western Kentucky (26-9)

At Berkeley, Calif.

New Mexico State (25-8) vs. St. Mary’s (Calif.) (20-7), 9 p.m.

Siena (20-12) vs. California (23-6), 11 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Saturday, Dec. 6

At State College, Pa.

Long Island-Penn State winner vs. Yale-Ohio winner

At Dayton, Ohio

Western Michigan-Dayton winner vs. Tennessee Tech-Tulane winner

At Champaign, Ill.

Milwaukee-Illinois winner vs. Cincinnati-Western Kentucky winner

At Berkeley, Calif.

New Mexico State-St. Mary’s (Calif.) winner vs. Siena-California winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At State College, Pa.

Friday, Dec. 12

Long Island-Penn State/Yale-Ohio winner vs. Western Michigan-Dayton/Tennessee Tech-Tulane winner

Milwaukee-Illinois/Cincinnati-Western Kentucky winner vs. New Mexico State-St. Mary’s (Calif.)/Siena-California winner

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At State College, Pa.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Semifinal winners

SEATTLE REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

Thursday, Dec. 4

At Lexington, Ky.

Saint Louis (28-4) vs. Alabama A&M (12-14), 5 p.m.

Michigan (24-8) vs. Kentucky (26-5), 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 5

At Seattle, Wash.

Santa Clara (17-9) vs. Kansas State (24-7), 5 p.m.

Portland State (20-8) vs. Washington (24-4), 7 p.m.

At Clemson, S.C.

Furman (21-13) vs. Utah (24-5), 5 p.m.

Tennessee (22-9) vs. Clemson (22-9), 7 p.m.

At Lincoln, Neb.

UAB (26-7) vs. Missouri State (23-12), 5:30 p.m.

Liberty (25-8) vs. Nebraska (27-2), 8 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At Lexington, Ky.

Saint Louis-Alabama A&M winner vs. Michigan-Kentucky winner

Saturday, Dec. 6

At Seattle, Wash.

Portland State-Washington winner vs. Santa Clara-Kansas State winner

At Clemson, S.C.

Tennessee-Clemson winner vs. Furman-Utah winner

At Lincoln, Neb.

UAB-Missouri State winner vs. Liberty-Nebraska winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Seattle, Wash.

Friday, Dec. 12

Portland State-Washington/Santa Clara-Kansas State winner vs. Tennessee-Clemson/Furman-Utah winner

Saint Louis-Alabama A&M/Michigan-Kentucky winner vs. UAB-Missouri State/Liberty-Nebraska winner

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At Seattle, Wash.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Semifinal winners

FORT COLLINS, COLO. REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

Thursday, Dec. 4

At Los Angeles

Hawaii (28-3) vs. Belmont (25-7), 8 p.m.

San Diego (23-4) vs. Southern California (16-11), 10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 5

At West Lafayette, Ind.

Middle Tennessee (26-7) vs. Miami (Ohio) (21-11), 4 p.m.

Louisville (19-10) vs. Purdue (24-8), 6:30 p.m.

At Gainesville, Fla.

Florida International (28-6) vs. Colorado State (22-6), 5 p.m.

Florida A&M (14-12) vs. Florida (25-3), 7:30 p.m.

At Stanford, Calif.

Pepperdine (20-7) vs. Long Beach State (25-5), 7:30 p.m.

Albany (N.Y.) (23-8) vs. Stanford (26-3), 10 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At Los Angeles

Hawaii-Belmont winner vs. San Diego-Southern California winner

Saturday, Dec. 6

At West Lafayette, Ind.

Middle Tennessee-Miami (Ohio) winner vs. Louisville-Purdue winner

At Gainesville, Fla.

Florida International-Colorado State winner vs. Florida A&M-Florida winner

At Stanford, Calif.

Pepperdine-Long Beach State winner vs. Albany (N.Y.)-Stanford winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Friday, Dec. 12

Hawaii-Belmont/San Diego-Southern California winner vs. Middle Tennessee-Miami (Ohio)/Louisville-Purdue winner

Florida International-Colorado State/Florida A&M-Florida winner vs. Pepperdine-Long Beach State/Albany (N.Y.)-Stanford winner

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

At Fort Collins, Colo.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Semifinal winners

AUSTIN, TEXAS REGIONAL

FIRSTROUND

Friday, Dec. 5

At Austin, Texas

Wichita State (29-1) vs. Rice (23-7), 5:30 p.m.

Lamar (17-11) vs. Texas (25-3), 7:30 p.m.

At Los Angeles

San Francisco (22-7) vs. Duke (24-8), 8:30 p.m.

Louisiana State (18-9) vs. UCLA (20-10), 11 p.m.

At Washington, D.C.

Oregon (23-8) vs. Delaware (19-15), 5 p.m.

North Carolina (21-10) vs. American (24-8), 7 p.m.

At Minneapolis, Minn.

Northern Illinois (25-8) vs. Iowa State (19-12), 6 p.m. 

North Dakota State (24-3) vs. Minnesota (26-6), 8 p.m.

SECOND ROUND

Saturday, Dec. 6

At Austin, Texas

Wichita State-Rice winner vs. Lamar-Texas winner

At Los Angeles

San Francisco-Duke winner vs. Louisiana State-UCLA winner

At Washington, D.C.

Oregon-Delaware winner vs. North Carolina-American winner

At Minneapolis, Minn.

Northern Iowa-Iowa State winner vs. North Dakota State-Minnesota winner

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

At Austin, Texas

Friday, Dec. 12

Wichita State-Rice/Lamar-Texas winner vs. San Francisco-Duke/Louisiana State-UCLA winner

Oregon-Delaware/North Carolina-American winner vs. Northern Iowa-Iowa State/North Dakota State-Minnesota winner

THE FINAL FOUR

At Qwest Center Omaha

At Omaha, Neb.

Thursday, Dec. 18 semifinals

State College, Pa. regional winner vs. Seattle, Wash. regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m.

Fort Collins, Colo. regional winner vs. Austin, Texas regional winner, 7 or 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20 championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

——————————————————————————–

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