Gators second in SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

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Florida's Rachael Kramer (5), Shainah Joseph (15) and Allie Monserez (22) celebrate a point scored during a recent volleyball match against Nebraska last year. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun/File]

Florida’s volleyball team received the No. 2 ranking in the SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the league announced Wednesday.

Florida, which finished 26-7 overall and 15-3 in SEC play, garnered two first-place votes and totaled 132 points, just nine points behind Kentucky for first place.

The Gators also have one Preseason All-SEC selection in senior middle blocker Rachael Kramer. She is a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American and has earned a spot on the All-SEC team in back-to-back seasons. Kramer finished her junior campaign ranked 21st in the nation in blocks per set (1.38).

UF returns all but two players from the NCAA Regional Semifinal team, including five starters: Kramer, Paige Hammons, Holly Carlton, Thayer Hall and Allie Gregory.

Florida will play 17 home matches this season, six of which will be against 2018 NCAA Tournament qualifiers – Stanford, Florida State, Northern Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Gators open the 2019 season with the Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky. Florida faces host Louisville on Aug. 30, then takes on Dayton on Aug. 31.

Florida then returns to the Sunshine State for the home opener against reigning national champions Stanford on Sept. 4.

Preseason Coaches’ Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)

Place School Points
1. Kentucky (11) 143
2.       Florida (2) 132
3. Tennessee 118
4. Missouri 113
5. South Carolina 97
6. Texas A&M 88
7. LSU 82
8. Georgia 58
9. Arkansas 52
10. Ole Miss 49
11. Alabama 46
12. Auburn 20
13. Mississippi State 16