Notebook: Solaun keys UF soccer's weekend wins over Tennessee and Georgia

Florida volleyball hits the road to face South Carolina and Mississippi State.


Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 11:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 11:05 p.m.

Coming off a weekend sweep of SEC East rivals Tennessee and Georgia, the Florida soccer team, which is in the midst of a season-long, four-game homestand, will be looking for a repeat performance when the Gators host SEC West foes Ole Miss and Arkansas this weekend.

UF (6-3-1, 3-1), on a season-best three-match winning streak, knocked off the 23rd-ranked Vols, 2-1, Friday and scored a season-high four goals in Sunday's 4-1 win over the Bulldogs.

“Well it was a great weekend for us because we got those six points (three points per win), which is what we try to get going into every SEC weekend,” coach Becky Burleigh said. “We had a pretty physical weekend in terms of the competition.”

Sophomore Havana Solaun had a big weekend for the Gators. The former Buchholz standout had a key assist on what turned out to be the game-winning goal by senior McKenzie Barney in the win over Tennessee and then scored UF's second goal in the win over the Bulldogs on Sunday, giving her the team lead in scoring with nine points (three goals, three assists).

“I think the reason that Havana has been so dangerous is because she works really hard to get beyond the ball when we're bringing the ball up,” Burleigh said.

“She's doing an excellent job at that, and again it's not necessarily something you can put in a stat book.

“But she's also very good at feeding other people. She sees the game really well; her vision is terrific. If I was defending her, I have to choose. Do I step up and play her tight so that she doesn't score by herself, or do I give her a little space? But if I do that, maybe she's going to get somebody else involved. There's kind of a pick your poison with her.”

Friday's match against Ole Miss (9-2, 2-2) is set for 7 p.m., with Sunday's match against Arkansas (11-3, 2-1) starting at 1 p.m.

Volleyball

It's back to the road for 12th-ranked UF as the Gators (9-2, 3-0), coming off a 3-0 sweep of SEC newcomer Missouri last Friday in their conference home opener, travel to South Carolina and Mississippi State this weekend.

The Gamecocks (13-2, 2-2), who are 9-0 at home, started off the season with a school-record 13 straight wins before dropping their first two SEC road contests to Auburn and No. 21 Tennessee this past weekend.

But they will be fired-up for a hot UF squad that has won six straight matches and is the only SEC team yet to taste defeat in conference play.

South Carolina junior Juliette Thevenin ranks second in the SEC in kills (220) and kills per set (4.31) to junior Kelsey Robinson of Tennessee (238, 4.86), the reigning SEC Player of the Year.

“They have in Thevenin one of the leading point scorers in the league,” coach Mary Wise said. “Although they didn't win this past weekend on the road, we know they're a very tough team to play in Columbia, so we'll have our work cut out for us in a big way Friday night.

“On Sunday, we go to Mississippi State, who is a team like us in that they have some young players and have some freshmen who are doing really well for them.”

Match time is 7 p.m. for Friday's contest at South Carolina, while Sunday's match with the Bulldogs (4-8, 0-3) starts at 1:30 p.m.

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