While Florida’s volleyball season may be over, two players are still getting recognition for their performances over the course of the season.
Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann and freshman outside hitter Ziva Recek were named All-Americans in the February issue of Volleyball Magazine. Both Gators were given accolades by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as well.
Chloe Mann has been a force at the net since she exploded on the court in her sophomore season last year. Leading the Florida Gators with a .444 hitting percentage and 380 kills on the year, it’s safe to say opponents had their work cut out for them if they wanted to slow her down. The soon-to-be senior also had 1.15 blocks per set, which ranked third in the SEC.
Unsurprisingly, Mann is expected to break Florida program’s career hitting percentage record by the end of her senior season. So far, Mann has accumulated 532 kills on a .455 hitting clip and has been named a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week, once in 2011 and once in 2012. The Gainesville native was named Preseason All-SEC this fall and was named the MVP of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational hosted by the Gators early on this season. To top of her junior year, Mann was also on the 2012 AVCA First Team All-America selection as well as the First Team VBM All-America. Mann was also named SEC Player of the Year.
From her Volleyball Magazine accolade, Mann becomes just the sixth Gators player in school history to receive VBM First Team All-America honors. Excelling at a position where it’s difficult to accumulate a high number of kills, Mann is just the third Florida middle blocker to be named First Team All-America, joining Nina Foster (1997) and Aycan Gokberk (1994).
Ziva Recek made a name for herself this season as the sensational outside hitting freshman that was mature beyond her years. The Slovenia native, who earned Volleyball Magazine Third Team All-America honors, was also honored by the AVCA. Recek was named the National Freshman of the Year and was given an honorable mention selection by the coaches’ association. Along with her other list of accomplishments Recek was named the AVCA South Region and SEC Freshman of the Year. The outside hitter led Florida with 440 kills on the year, ranking in the top five in the SEC in kills and points per set (4.45). Recek was just the second Gator to receive AVCA National Freshman of the Year, joining Florida’s only four-time AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-American Kelly Murphy. Murphy and Recek are the only Florida rookies to ever receive VBM All-America honors.
Recek accumulated many awards throughout her freshman year including a four-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection, two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week accolade and now owns the Florida freshman record for kills in a season. Recek surpassed previous record of 357 shared by former Gators Aycan Gokberk and Marcie Hampton. Recek leads in nearly every category in the freshmen record book, including in points (490.0) and attacks (1,166). Recek was one of just two freshmen honored by Volleyball Magazine, including the VBM Freshman of the Year, USC’s outside hitter Samantha Bricio.
The 2012 Florida Gators finished out their season with an overall 27-5 record marking their 22nd consecutive 25-win season. The Gators notched the SEC title with a 19-1 SEC record and has now led the country with 686 wins since 1991. The Gators reached their 21st regional semifinal in program history this season and finished the year ranked No. 10 in the final AVCA poll.
Gator Country reporter Elizabeth Rhodes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.