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2008 Florida Gators Volleyball

If you are looking for information about this year's team, go to current Florida Gators Volleyball Information.

Congrats to Florida Gators Volleyball -- 2008 SEC Volleyball Champions!!

Florida Gators Volleyball is the class of SEC Volleyball. No doubt about it. It's no wonder one of their former players, Angie McGinnis, was the Best All-Time SEC Volleyball Player.

The Lady Gators won the 2008 SEC Volleyball Championship -- again. They lost in the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament -- again (to runner-up Stanford).

The Lady Gators were also the 2007 SEC Volleyball Champions and were selected as the 13th seed in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Lady Gators went on to win 3 matches (lost in “Sweet 16" to Texas) in the Tournament.

Florida is favored to win the SEC again this year; however they are being challenged by Kentucky. The Gators finished the 2007 season with a 29-3 record, including a 19-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play, and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals for the 16th time in the last 17 years. The Gators have claimed 17 consecutive SEC titles, which ties the NCAA record for consecutive conference title wins.

UF volleyball ended up with a 29-3 season record and their 16th NCAA regional semifinal appearance in 17 years. The Gators also hold the nation's longest stretch of 25-win seasons with 17 straight. Gators were selected to win the 2008 SEC volleyball title in a preseason vote by the league's 11 coaches.

Florida introduces four upperclassmen in seniors Kelsey Bowers and Christina Diaz, and juniors Elyse Cusack and Kristina Johnson. The Gators welcome six true freshmen and a red shirt freshman, which marks the nation's No. 1 recruiting class according to both PrepVolleyball.com and Volleyball Magazine.

Bowers and Cusack were both named to the All-SEC preseason team, declared last week by the league offices, as last year Cusack became the first player in school history at the libero/defensive specialist position to earn All-America honors. Florida has never lost more than one league match during head coach Mary Wise's 17-year tenure.

Last season, UF became the first school to be awarded a regional in back-to-back years since the formation of pre-determined sites prior to the 2003 campaign. Florida has ranked in the nation's top 10 in attendance in each of the last 17 years.

Latest exciting news out of Gainesville is that Florida's Freshman right-side/setter Kelly Murphy was named college volleyball's national player of the week (for last week in September) making her just the seventh player in UF volleyball history to earn that award. Congrats Kelly! And, wow, only a freshman!

Certainly the Gators will have another successful season. Under the able guidance of Mary Wise and with a perfect group of players, the Lady Gators can expect to win the SEC East, and probably the SEC Championship, once again. They will also surely return to the NCAA Championship for the eighteenth consecutive year.

Last year's discussion: Mary Wise became the Gator's head Volleyball coach in 1991. Florida tied LSU for the SEC Volleyball Championship that season and has not looked back.

The Gators have won outright or tied (twice) for the SEC Volleyball Championship every season since 1991! That's sixteen consecutive SEC titles and twelve SEC tournaments. They have also made sixteen consecutive appearances at the NCAA Tournament, finishing in the final four seven times and making it to the National Championship in 2003.

The Florida Gators Volleyball had another fantastic year in 2006, finishing with a 28-2 record, losing only to UCLA and South Carolina in huge upsets. The ladies were named SEC Champions and finished 2006 ranked tenth in the nation in USA Today's CSTV/AVCA poll. The University of Florida's Volleyball team made it all the way to the NCAA Championship Regionals where they lost to Minnesota 3-1.

The Lady Gators are looking for a repeat performance (or even better) in 2007. They come into the season ranked 7th nationally in the CSTV/AVCA pre-season poll.

Florida Gators volleyball has four players who rank in the top thirty in the nation for assists, blocks, digs, and hitting percentage. Senior Angie McGinnis, who was ranked twenty-second in the nation for her assists per game, is creating a real impact in the pre-season at the 2007 Florida volleyball Orange & Blue Scrimmage with fourteen assists, two blocks, and four digs, solidifying her place as starting setter. Angie was the 2006 SEC Offensive Player of the Year.

Fellow setter Alli Cecchini, who had thirteen assists in the scrimmage game, is also expected to be an important asset to the team this year after setting school records in digs.

Kelsey Bowers, who ranked seventh in the nation for blocks per game, will return for her junior year as middle blocker. Freshman Callie Rivers, who was ranked thirteenth in the nation's top recruits before joining Florida this season, is proving herself and shows good promise at outside hitter after racking up five kills in the pre-season scrimmage game.

The Lady Gators were able to participate in some highly acclaimed events in the off-season, allowing everyone to take notice of the incredible talent Florida has to offer. Sophomore Elyse Cusack was chosen to play in the 2007 Global Challenge as part of the USA Selects. Cusack will be training in Venice, Italy and will go on to play in several different countries. Cusack was also named the 2006 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Marcie Hampton was recently asked to be a part of the 2007 U.S. National Team for the second time. Not only are team members receiving individual honors, but McGinnis and Hampton joined forces to compete in the Powerade Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championships where they nearly made it to the semi-finals.

With impeccable coaching and a solid group of players, the Lady Gators should have no problem winning the SEC East, and probably the SEC Championship, once again. They will also surely return to the NCAA Championship for the seventeenth consecutive year.

Support the Florida Gators with Florida Gators Apparel, Florida Gators Merchandise, Tickets, and Baseball Caps.

If you are looking more info, go to 2009 Florida Gators Volleyball Information.

2007 Florida Gators Volleyball Schedule:

August 24 Illinois State Away
August 26 Notre Dame Away
August 31 North Car. State Home
August 31 Georgia Southern Home
August 31 North Car. State Home
September 1 Santa Clara Home
September 5 Florida State Home
September 9 Utah Away
September 14 Georgia Home
September 16 Auburn Home
September 21 Mississippi Away
September 23 LSU Away
September 28 Mississippi State Away
September 30 Alabama Away
October 5 Kentucky Home
October 7 Tennessee Home
October 10 South Carolina Home
October 12 Arkansas Away
October 19 Auburn Away
October 21 Georgia Away
October 26 LSU Home
October 28 Mississippi Home
October 31 South Carolina Away
November 4 Arkansas Home
November 9 Tennessee Away
November 11 Kentucky Away
November 16 Alabama Home
November 18 Mississippi State Home
November 23 Yale Away
November 24 Long Beach State Away

Other Florida Gators Volleyball Pages

2007 Florida Gators Volleyball Roster:

3 Christina Diaz S/DS 5'6" Junior Hollywood, Florida
5 Callie Rivers OH 6'0" Freshman Winter Park, Florida
6 Kristy Jaeckel OH 6'1" Freshman Littleton, Colorado
7 Wlyse Cusack L/DS 5'9" Sophomore Melrose, Florida
9 Angie McGinnis S 5'11" Senior Fraser, Michigan
12 Marcie Hampton OH 6'1" Senior Gainesville, Florida
13 Amber McCray Opp 6'0" Senior Longview, Texas
15 Kristina Johnson MB 6'2" Sophomore Indianapolis, Indiana
17 Lauren Bledsoe MB 6'2" Freshman Long Beach, CA
23 Alli Cecchini S 5'11" Sophomore Brentwood, California
27 Erin Fleming L/DS 5'10" Freshman Orlando, Florida
31 Janine Williams OH 6'0" RS Freshman Gainesville, Florida
34 Kisya Killingsworth MB 6'3" Senior Deltona, Florida
35 Kelsey Bowers MB 6'2" Junior Gainesville, Florida

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