Notebook: No. 2 volleyball takes hot-streak on the road
12th-ranked Florida soccer returns home, faces Kentucky and LSU
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.
After a pair of impressive 3-0 sweeps over 15th-ranked Kentucky and much-improved Georgia this past weekend, the second-ranked Florida volleyball team faces a tough SEC road weekend ahead with trips to Arkansas and Missouri.
League-leading UF (17-1, 6-0) has won 12 straight matches, including nine in a row by sweep, while the Razorbacks (12-6, 5-2) are in fifth place in the SEC standings.
“They have really one of our favorite venues because of how much playing surface there is in Barnhill Arena and the great crowds,” coach Mary Wise said. “They've played very well against us over the past several years, at home especially.”
No. 18 Missouri (21-0, 5-0), meanwhile, sits just a half-game back of UF and has set a program record with 21 straight wins to open the season.
The Tigers and Gators also are dominating the SEC stats. They rank 1-2, respectively, in the league in both hitting percentage and opponent's hitting percentage, with Missouri hitting at a .378 clip while holding opponents to a .153 mark. UF is right behind with marks of .351 and .156.
The Gators' 15.25 kills per set rank No. 1 in the conference, with the Tigers (15.13) right on their heels.
Individually, Florida senior Chloe Mann leads the league in hitting percentage (.540), while Missouri junior Whitney Little (.524) is second and UF freshman Alex Holston (.454) third.
“Where we think our numbers are pretty good, you look across the overall SEC stats, and Missouri is leading in almost every category,” Wise said. “This is an outstanding Missouri team, and we'll have a great challenge this weekend.”
Following a 1-0, double-overtime win over homestanding Mississippi State on Friday in their only match last week, the 12th-ranked Gators (10-3-1, 4-2 SEC) return to Pressly Stadium for a pair of big SEC matches this weekend against No. 25 Kentucky and LSU.
“It was great to see our team handle that situation the way they did, because I really kind of think we needed a game like that even though maybe a bigger score would have kept years on my life,” coach Becky Burleigh said. “But the fact that we had a game like that and were able to come through in the end was a big confidence booster for this team going forward.”
The Wildcats (11-2-1, 5-1) provide the opposition Friday at 6:30 p.m. for UF's annual Kicking for the Cure match in honor of breast cancer awareness.
Kentucky is one of three teams tied for second place in the SEC with 15 points, just a single point behind the league-leading Tigers (9-3-2, 5-0-1), who come calling Sunday at 1 p.m.
Both matches will air live on Sun Sports.
It's a great chance for UF, the defending SEC champion currently tied for fifth place in the SEC with Ole Miss (12 points), to move up.
“I'm really excited about this weekend — one for being at home and secondly because of the quality of opponents,” Burleigh said. “Kentucky is nationally ranked and LSU is at the top of the SEC standings, and so both of these games are going to be really competitive games. We look forward to that.”