Mann provides leadership at middle blocker spot for Gators

Junior Chloe Mann poses for a photo during the University of Florida's volleyball media day on Thursday in Gainesville.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, August 17, 2012 at 7:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 9:46 p.m.

There’s no doubt Florida volleyball opponents will be focusing on the Mann in the middle this season.

Redshirt junior Chloe Mann, a 6-foot-2 middle blocker and former Eastside High School standout, enters her fourth year with the Gators on a major roll.

Mann, UF’s lone 2012 Preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection, was nothing short of brilliant down the stretch last year. In a span of three weeks alone, the 2008 Gainesville Sun Class 4A-6A Player of the Year set single-match UF career-highs for kills (19), hitting percentage (.900), blocks (seven), digs (seven), assists (three) and points (21.5).

Once inserted in the starting lineup, she was immovable. Mann ended up starting 14 matches, finishing fourth on the team in blocks with 67 and adding 145 kills while posting a lofty .500 hitting percentage that led the SEC. In addition, her .900 hitting mark against LSU — the result of 18 kills on 20 swings with no errors — was the second-highest, single-match mark in NCAA history (minimum 20 attacks).

This summer, Mann was invited to play with the USA National A2 team in Columbus, Ohio. There, Mann further honed her skills in leading her Team USA White squad to the championship, registering a .423 hitting efficiency. In the championship match against the USA Gold squad, she hit .467 with seven kills and added two blocks.

“I can definitely say I have a lot more confidence, and I believe that confidence transcends to the court,” Mann said Thursday at UF's Media Day. “I’m much more comfortable playing with my teammates, and we’re really hoping to do some great things with the team this year.”

“I think the experience she gained from playing with the USA A2 program with the other college players is big,” head coach Mary Wise said. “By chance, we were in Columbus (at a recruiting tournament) and got to see some of it, and there were times that she just physically looked older than the other players because she is more physically fit and stronger.”

Mann’s teammates are often in awe of her athleticism.

“Chloe is a freak athlete,” redshirt sophomore libero Taylor Unroe said. “She’s gotten a lot better, even just since I’ve been here. She’s just an amazing person and an amazing player.”

Mann is just as amazing in the classroom, having been an SEC All-Academic selection every year at UF.

“You have to learn how to budget your time,” she said. “It just takes a lot of practice.”

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