Mann, Brauneis cap UF's Senior Night
Published: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 11:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 11:19 p.m.
You couldn't have scripted Senior Night much better.
Who: No. 7 UF (26-3, 15-2 SEC) at No. 16 Kentucky (21-6, 13-3)
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Where: Lexington, Ky.
Not only did Florida senior All-Americans Chloe Mann and Taylor Brauneis, who were both honored prior to the match, have outstanding performances, but the two combined for the final kill of the night to cap an impressive 3-0 win over LSU before an O'Connell Center crowd of 2,626 Friday evening.
The No. 7 Gators (26-3, 15-2) swept the Tigers (16-11, 6-9) by scores of 25-16, 25-19, 25-20, led by a match-high 15 kills from sophomore Gabby Mallette that tied her season-high.
“With LSU, we knew coming in that we couldn't get caught up in all the festivities happening, that we did have work to do right after our Senior Night ceremony,” said Mann, who had 10 kills and no errors to lead UF with a .714 hitting percentage.
“They came out and they played hard, but I think we were all really focused and were able to come out with the win.”
The senior duo seemed to enjoy every moment of Friday's match.
“That's the most fun I think we've ever had before, and we played really, really well,” said Brauneis, who had a match-high 39 assists with six digs and sang the national anthem beforehand along with freshman teammate Denise Belcher.
“I got my emotional side out first, and then when it was game-time, just kind of stayed focused on the team and had fun.”
The Tigers were led by freshman middle blocker Briana Holman, who finished with a match-high .786 hitting mark with 11 kills and no errors and added four block assists.
Coach Mary Wise credited the enthusiastic crowd for their support on a special night.
“You just had a sense as they (seniors) were being introduced, the way they held their applause and then celebrated the match point, that the fans understand that combination of a senior setter and a senior middle that's the all-time NCAA hitting leader doesn't come around very often,” she said.
UF closes out the regular season Wednesday at Kentucky.