Florida soccer, volleyball teams hope to play in spring

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports
Florida head soccer coach Becky Burleigh. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent Gainesville Sun)

Originally published on Aug 13, 2020 at 18:46

After finally getting their athletes back on campus, two of the most successful sports at the University of Florida found out Thursday they won't have a chance to win a national title in the fall.

Florida's volleyball and soccer seasons will be — at best — played in the spring. The NCAA set a rule that if 50 percent of teams in any division dropped out of the fall season, there would be no championships for the sports. That happened this week when several conferences that decided to hang it up.

While a decision has not been made as far as regular season games go, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin told The Sun on Thursday it was unlikely the sports in the fall would be played without an end game that included a national championship.

Florida soccer coach Becky Burleigh, who will be on a conference call with other SEC coaches today, said she is hoping for a spring season.

"I'm confident in everything we are doing at the University of Florida, but it comes down to travel," she said. "Our players obviously want to play, but they want to play for a championship. We'll just work on team chemistry in the fall."

The same goes for UF's ultra-successful volleyball coach Mary Wise.

"When the Pac-12 and Big Ten decided not to play, that was a huge barren in our sport," Wise said. The two conferences have won 20 of the last 21 national titles.

"We just started Saturday and our players were so excited to get back in the gym and start training. We'll just have to wait and see what happens as far as the spring goes."