Florida volleyball team goes for undefeated conference season, SEC history tonight
The No. 1 Florida volleyball team will go for SEC history tonight at 7 against South Carolina.
With a victory over the Gamecocks, Florida will become the first team in league history to go 20-0 in conference play. The SEC instituted a 20-match double round-robin format prior to the 2006 season in lieu of playing a conference tournament.
If the Gators (26-1, 19-0) are successful, it will be the 12th time in school history they've gone undefeated in SEC play. The Gators clinched the SEC regular season championship this past weekend, but the celebration was subdued.
“There won’t be (a large celebration) unless we accomplish our goal of being undefeated SEC Champions.'' senior libero Erin Fleming said. "I don’t think we’ll celebrate unless that’s done. This year, we wanted to focus on being, hands down, the best team in the SEC. “We still have to get through South Carolina. Hopefully we will win and that will be a great accomplishment.”
Florida coach Mary Wise said since the round robin format was instituted, she never thought a team would go undefeated again. The Gators' last undefeated conference season was 2003.
“I was one of the people who said that I don’t know if we will see an undefeated SEC team again,'' Wise said. "There’s just too much parity, too many good players and a double round-robin schedule is just grueling.”
Florida ranks among the nation’s top-25 in three different team statistical categories, including ranking ninth in the country in hitting percentage with a .291 clip. The Gators also are 12th nationally in blocks per set with 2.75 rejections per frame and 23rd nationally in service aces per set with 1.62.
Hear Wise talk about what has helped shaped the Gators and led to their success this season: