Sophomore middle blocker Chloe Mann has been named the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for her performances on the road against the LSU Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks. This is the first time in Mann’s career that she has earned the honor. On the weekend, the Gainesville native hit a powerful .589 with 37 kills on 56 swings with only four errors along with 10 blocks.
The award gives Florida it’s fourth SEC weekly accolade of the 2011 season.
Mann had her best weekend ever in Orange and Blue against the Tigers and the Razorbacks, averaging 4.11 kills/set in the Gators’ matches this weekend. In Florida’s 3-1 victory over LSU, Mann recorded the second-highest hitting percentage in NCAA history (minimum of 20 attacks), as the Gainesville native hit .900 against the Tigers, tallying 18 kills with no errors on 20 swings. Her performance was the highest in the history of the SEC with at least 20 attacks and she registered a then-career-high 20.5 points.
“We had no answer for her,” LSU head coach Fran Flory said of Mann’s outstanding performance against his Tiger team. “It was very frustrating sitting on the bench trying to get our middles to respond. As a coaching staff if you have someone put up those numbers, it is your job to teach and coach your kids through that match. The key was that she wasn’t predictable. She hit right, she hit left, she tipped and she had a knack for picking the right shot at the right time.”
Mann followed that career performance against LSU up with another against Arkansas, registering 19 kills, six digs, five blocks and a .417 hitting percentage in Florida’s comeback, five-set victory over the Razorbacks. She also broke her career-high points from the match before, with earning 21.5 points in the match. Her 19 kills were the most by a Gator middle blocker since the change of scoring in sets was to 25-points.
The 3-2 comeback over Arkansas marked the first time since September 6, 2008 that Florida rebounded from being down 0-2 going into intermission to defeat an opponent and the first time since September 21, 2001 that this accomplishment was a success on the road.
Mann is the first middle blocker since 2007 to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Week and the third middle blocker to be honored since the birth of the SEC Offensive Player of the Week in 2004.
The Gators return home to Gainesville for three final matches before the NCAA tournament begins. Florida will be hosting Georgia and Auburn on Friday and Sunday this upcoming weekend while they face off against South Carolina next Wednesday. The Gators will be taking on Bulldogs on Friday evening at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Florida, before hosting the Tigers on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on Sun Sports. Gator fans can also tune into GatorVision and Sportsradio 850 for live updates throughout both matches. Sunday’s match is Senior Day for the Gators, which will honor the five senior Gators: Cassandra Anderson, Stephanie Ferrell, Elissa Hausmann, Kristy Jaeckel and Kelly Murphy.
Gator Country reporter Elizabeth Rhodes can be reached at email@example.com.