Florida soccer splits, volleyball sweeps

Coming off back-to-back victories in South Florida, No. 8 Florida Gators soccer looked to continue their stellar start with a pair of contests against ranked opponents on the road in Knoxville, TN over the weekend. Florida (3-1-0) wound up defeating the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies (1-2-0) 3-2 in exciting fashion on Friday before suffering their first loss of the season 2-0 to the No. 15 UCLA Bruins (3-0-0) on Sunday.

The Gators jumped ahead 1-0 in the 25th minute when junior midfielder Erika Tymrak corralled a through ball from freshman MF Havana Solaun and pocketed it into the net. The Aggies responded quickly with back-to-back goals from Annie Kunz and Kelley Monogue before UF was able to tie it up at 39’. Senior MF Lindsay Thompson sailed a cross from the right wing to the left post, which sophomore forward Taylor Travis headed in for her second goal of the season.

All was quiet in the second half as the clock began to run down. With just 15 seconds remaining, Florida redshirt junior F McKenzie Barney found a cross in the middle of the field and buried the game-winning goal into the net from six yards out.

For the second straight day, Gators senior goalkeeper Brooke Chancey allowed two goals past her on Sunday, but this time her teammates did not accomplish anything on the offensive end to support her. UCLA scored at 35’ and 72’ to put Florida away 2-0, keeping their undefeated season alive while handing the Gators their first loss.

Back in Gainesville, FL at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, No. 9 Gators volleyball was looking to start the season strong by participating in the Active Ankle SEC/ACC Challenge. The ladies won back-to-back contests in the two-day event to earn the team championship, and the Southeastern Conference defeated the ACC 3-1.

Florida (2-0) swept the Boston College Eagles (1-0) 3-0 on Friday, defeating them in straight sets 25-11, 25-15, 25-16. Senior middle-back Cassandra Anderson and senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel led the team with 11.0 and 10.5 points, respectively, while also combining for 13 kills. The Gators notched 14 aces in the match, and senior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy and sophomore setter Channel Brown combined for 27 assists.

Continuing their good fortunes on Sunday, Florida similarly swept the North Carolina Tar Heels (1-1) 3-0 via straight sets of 25-17, 25-20, 25-14. Senior OH Stephanie Ferrell earned the tournament’s MVP award after registering 20 kills over the weekend (including 13 on Sunday). Joining her on the All-Tournament Team were Jaeckel (double-double with 12 kills, 10 digs), Murphy (match-high 20 assists, eight kills, seven digs) and redshirt freshman libero Taylor Unroe (19 digs combined).

The University of Florida has began its 2011-12 athletic season a combined 5-1 and will look to continue its ways as its two women’s teams take part in five more games this week before the football team takes the field on Saturday evening.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SIX BITS: awards, softball, lax, swimming, tennis

1 » There are plenty of spring sports underway right now, and the Florida Gators have gotten off to a fast start earning weekly conference honors. For the second-straight week, senior pitcher Stephanie Brombacher (softball) won the SEC Pitcher of the Week award; she tossed three shutouts in the last seven days and has a 0.00 ERA with 35 strikeouts through her first 31 innings of the season. Joining her is sophomore shortstop Nolan Fontana (baseball), who picked up the SEC Player of the Week award after going 9-for-12 and scoring five runs in his team’s season-opening series. Also making an impact was sophomore midfielder Kitty Cullen (lacrosse), who brought home the first ALC Offensive Player of the Week award in school history. She has scored 14 goals in only three games and tied a school record with six on Sunday alone.

2 » Undefeated going into the weekend, No. 5 Florida softball (9-0) completed a shutout sweep of the No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels (4-4) from Saturday to Sunday. UF took down UNC 3-0 and 9-0 in two games Saturday and concluded their first three-game homestand of the season with a 10-0 win on Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Brombacher (6-0) tossed seven scoreless innings on Saturday and five more on Sunday, only giving up a total of nine hits and two walks over the contests. Freshman P Hannah Rogers (3-0) spelled her in between, allowing only two hits in her five shutout innings.

The Gators hit four home runs on Saturday alone; senior first baseman Megan Bush (4-7, HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB) and junior center fielder Michelle Moultrie (5-7, HR, 2 RBI) connected in the first game, while senior second baseman Aja Paculba (3-8, 3 RBI) and sophomore right fielder Kelsey Horton (1-5, 3 RBI) teed-off in the second contest. Florida’s scoring Sunday came from all over the place with senior left fielder Kelsey Bruder (2-8, 2 RBI, 4 R) leading the way with a homer, two RBI and three runs scored.

3 » Cullen’s six amazing goals on Sunday helped No. 17 Gators lacrosse (2-1) top the No. 20 Denver Pioneers (0-2) 15-7 at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville. Assisting her was sophomore attacker Ashley Bruns who scored three goals and notched a career-high four assists on her way to seven points and a hat trick.

Read the rest of this SIX BITS post…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: awards, softball, lax, swimming, tennis

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: volleyball, soccer, cross, golf, tennis

1 » Continuing their stellar play to open the season, No. 3 Florida Gators volleyball (8-1, 2-0 SEC) followed the football team in defeating the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers (9-2, 1-1 SEC) 3-1 (28-26, 25-23, 19-25, 25-17) on the heels of another triple-double from junior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy. The performance was Murphy’s 18th career triple-double (19 kills, 25 assists, 14 digs), which helped the Gators defeat their sixth Top 25 opponent this season. Florida is next set to dig their heels into No. 15 Florida State on the road Wed. at 7 p.m.

2 » The volleyball team may have been victorious, but No. 5 Gators soccer (6-1-1) was dealt its first loss of the young season on Sunday. Facing the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (8-0-1) on the road at the Duke Nike Classic, Florida fell 2-0 to the two-time defending NCAA National Champions. North Carolina’s Alyssa Rich (61’) and Elizabeth Burchenal (75’) each scored in the second half as the Tar Heels got 10 total shots on goal throughout the contest. UF will remain on the road but hopes to get back on track against Kentucky on Fri. at 7 p.m.

3 » Florida’s cross country teams begin each season by participating in the same event and, for the sixth straight year, the Gators took home the 2010 Mountain Dew Invitational on the heels of great performances by juniors Josh Izewski and Genevieve LaCaze. Izewski’s career-low 24:39:52 in the men’s 8K provided him with the overall individual title for the event, which was hosted at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, FL.

4 » Fifteen men’s golf teams took part in the Olympia Fields Invitational in Chicago, IL, over the weekend, but Florida finished top after recording a three-round total of 845 to defeat Oklahoma State and Augusta State (852) for the event tile. Senior Bank Vongvanij came in second-place individually with a three-round score of 207.

EXTRA BIT » Also in action over the weekend was Gators men’s tennis, which took home a 24-2 overall record (9-0 in doubles matches) at the 2010 Gator Invitational in Gainesville, FL. No. 9 senior Alexandre Lacroix won the event’s singles championship, going 3-0 over the weekend, and also combined for the doubles title with teammate junior Nassim Slilam. The duo is ranked No. 20 in the country.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No. 3 Florida women’s tennis defeats No. 2 North Carolina, advances to 2010 NCAA Championship

Already rolling their way through the 2010 NCAA Tournament, No. 3 Florida Gators women’s tennis (29-2) swept the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels (30-5) 4-0 in the event’s semifinals on Monday at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA.

The Gators’ top three players – freshmen No. 8 Allie Will, freshman No. 9 Lauren Embree and senior No. 65 Marrit Boonstra – all won their singles contests (in reverse order). Boonstra triumphed 6-2, 6-2; Will won 6-3, 6-3; and Embree’s match went three sets ending 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.

In doubles competition, the No. 5 team of Boonstra and Will led 6-3 in a shortened match after the No. 29 duo of Embree and sophomore Joanna Mather prevailed 8-4 and the combination of freshman Caroline Hitimana and senior Anastasia Revzina ran through their competition 8-1.

Also still playing at the event’s conclusion were No. 102 Revzina (tied 4-6, 6-5, 3-3), Mather (up 6-2, 3-6, 4-3) and sophomore Claire Bartlett (down 5-7, 2-2).

Florida will face No. 8 Stanford (25-1), which defeated No. 5 Notre Dame 4-1 in the other semifinal, on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the championship match live on ESPNU.

The Gators beat the Cardinal 4-3 for the 2003 title but lost 4-0 the last time the two teams squared off in the 2006 semifinals Should Florida prevail, it will be the program’s fifth National Championship and first since 2003. Stanford is the sport’s most storied college program, having won 15 of 28 titles.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Austin Rivers decommits, opens up recruitment

In a decision that has seemingly been coming for quite some time, five-star 2011 guard recruit Austin Rivers (Winter Park, FL) has officially decommitted from the Florida Gators and decided to open up his recruitment.

“I have reopened my recruitment as of last night,” Rivers told TheDevilsDen.com [paid subscription required]. “I have decommitted to Florida at this time. I still really like them, but I needed to go ahead and reopen things right now. Right now I’m looking at three schools: Duke, Florida and North Carolina. I may open it up a little more later on, but right now it’s just going to be those three programs. I have a long history with both Duke and Florida. North Carolina is trying to recruit me as well. So, we’ll see what happens.”

There should be no question that the Duke Blue Devils’ recent success in winning the 2010 NCAA Championship made some impact on Rivers’ decision. Nevertheless, he claims his affection for Florida is unwavering.

“It’s only right to look at other schools just to compare,” Rivers told the Orlando Sentinel. “I still love Florida the same. Coach Donovan, he respects it. I still have the same relationship. They didn’t do anything.”

“When people hear the word de-commitment, they think I’m not going there anymore, but Florida’s still a very possible option for me. This process will help me see where I’m at with Florida.”

OGGOA will continue to stay on top of Rivers’ recruitment as more information is made available and he nears a final decision.

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Tags: , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Rivers, Denson, Thompson, Haden

OGGOA STORY UPDATE » Assistant basketball coach Richard Pitino has interviewed for the Iona head coaching job, per FOX Sports.

1 » A week ago, OGGOA reported that the North Carolina Tar Heels and Florida Gators 2011 five-star guard commit Austin Rivers shared a mutual interest in each other. Now, Rivers’ consideration of UNC seems to have increased, and he is starting to lean away from Florida in favor of opening his recruitment back up. “It would be Duke, Florida and [North] Carolina,” Rivers told CarolinaBlue.com this week. “And just because I might open it back up doesn’t mean that Florida wouldn’t be one of my schools, because they would. I like Florida – a lot.” Should Rivers decommit in order to open up his recruitment, gaining his commitment back against the likes of the Blue Devils and Tar Heels would seemingly be tough for Gators head coach Billy Donovan.

2 » Tuesday, OGGOA mentioned three-star 2010 point guard recruit Chris Denson (Midland, GA) as a prospect Florida is going after to help fill out its incoming recruiting class. Denson spoke with GAVarsity.com Thursday and said that the Gators are one of the teams leading for his services. “I’d say the top of my list are Western Kentucky and Florida […] they’re closer to home and that’s a big part,” Denson said. The site does not list UF as having offered Denson a scholarship yet, instead pointing out that he has already received them from WKU, Buffalo and UNC-Greensboro. Perhaps an offer is all it would take to acquire the 6’2”, 180 lbs. PG.

Two more BITS on Deonte Thompson and Joe Haden…after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Rivers, Denson, Thompson, Haden

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: UNC wants Rivers, Shipman’s transfer

1 » Florida Gators fans have grown nervous that five-star 2011 guard commitment Austin Rivers (Winter Park, FL) may end up changing his mind and picking the Duke Blue Devils rather than playing basketball in Gainesville, FL. According to Evan Daniels of Scout, the Gators now also have the North Carolina Tar Heels to worry about. Apparently head coach Roy Williams is headed down to watch Rivers workout and the junior will likely give the school permission to recruit him. Though he remains committed to UF (something that could change at any time), other schools are entering the mix and obviously piquing his interest.

2 » Now that sophomore guard Ray Shipman has decided to transfer from Florida, several “high-major schools” are vying for his services according to Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald. Shipman’s high school coach, Mark Lieberman, told Goodman that he has already been contacted by a number of teams including Shipman’s hometown Miami Hurricanes, which would likely be near the top of his list.

Extra Bit » It did not take ESPN’s Page 2 long to take a crack at the Gators and head coach Urban Meyer for his actions after practice Wednesday. Patrick Hruby released a copy of Meyer’s new media policy for journalists covering the team. This is a parody.

Some of the funnier excerpts:

“DO NOT … Question innocent and delicate student-athletes who, like newborn fawns, cannot be expected to hold opinions and/or speak for themselves, nor understand adult concepts such as context and consequences”

“Media members that do not adhere to the above guidelines will be removed from team practice, barred from games and forced to live with the knowledge that they are, in fact, bad girls and guys.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Tebow, Tishman, Shepard, tennis

1 » For all of the flack that former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has received about his mechanics and throwing motion, perhaps forcing a player to tinker with something that they have used to reach a high level of success is not the best thing to do. (Who would have thunk it?) Bruce Feldman of ESPN breaks down an instance where adjustments like these did an injustice rather than facilitated an improvement, focusing on the story of Steve and Chris Walsh of the Miami Hurricanes.

Additional note: ESPN NFL Draft talking heads Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay have both upgraded their projections, agreeing that Tebow will likely be a second-round pick in the upcoming event. However, both made sure to state that picking him that early is indeed “a reach” by any team that does so.

Three more BITS on Tishman, LSU’s Sheppard and women’s tennis after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Tishman, Shepard, tennis

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 2 of 3 « 1  2  3 »