Taller Gators crush Georgetown

Published: Friday, September 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 1:03 a.m.

One night after having her high school jersey retired in a special ceremony at Eastside High School, former Rams’ standout and current UF All-American senior middle blocker Chloe Mann put her skills on display before an O’Connell Center crowd of 2,123 Friday.

Mann recorded 11 kills, added two solo blocks and six block assists and hit .588 in leading fifth-ranked Florida to a 3-0 win over Georgetown in first-round action of the Active Ankle Challenge.

Sophomore Simone Antwi had seven kills and freshman right-side hitter Alex Holston added six for the Gators (6-1), who won 25-14, 25-14, 25-10.

“That’s Chloe,” coach Mary Wise said. “All they have to say is the consummate student-athlete because that’s what Chloe Mann is.”

UF started off a little slow offensively but more than made up for it with some outstanding blocking.

In the opening set, the Gators hit just .103 but registered nine team blocks (one solo, 16 assists) in a dominating display at the net.

“It’s sort of like missing some early shots in basketball, but your defense is so good,” Wise said. “That’s really what happened.

“We had a size advantage over Georgetown and we were bigger and more physical above the net, and the blocks showed that. Then as the match went on, our offense found its rhythm.”

The Gators hit .457 in set two and .357 in set three, bringing their overall mark for the match to .315 while holding the Hoyas to a minus-.090 hitting percentage.

“I think we just got them out of system really well,” said senior setter Taylor Brauneis, who posted a match-high 30 assists and added four kills, four block assists and four digs.

Lauren Saar had six kills to lead the Hoyas (4-5).

The match was the first in UF program history to feature sisters as opposing setters as Brauneis’ counterpart on the other side of the net was younger sister Caitlin, a freshman at Georgetown who had 13 assists.

In the tournament opener, Western Michigan defeated Iona, 3-0, winning 25-16, 25-11, 25-14.

The Broncos (6-2) were led by sophomore middle blocker Stephenee Yancy (12 kills, .444 hitting percentage) while the Gaels (1-6) were paced by Catrina Warren’s 11 kills.

Action continues with four matches today beginning at 10 a.m., with UF taking on Iona at noon and WMU at 7:30 p.m. in the tourney finale.

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