FOUR BITS: soccer, Jones, volleyball, Mann

1 » No. 23 Florida Gators soccer (17-7) advanced to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Saturday with a strong 3-0 victory over the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (14-5-2) at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Senior midfielder/forward Tahnai Annis scored consecutive goals for the Gators in the 16th and 68th minute before senior F/MF Lindsay Thompson followed suit with a conversion of her own from 10 yards out at 80’. The Eagles only took three shots the entire game, and freshman goalkeeper Taylor Burke was only forced to make one save during the contest. Florida will take on Central Florida on Friday at 7 p.m. in second round action.

2 » Unranked heading into the season, Gators women’s basketball had an opportunity to pick up a solid win in their opener but fell just short on Friday. Florida (0-1) was defeated 69-66 by the Michigan Wolverines (1-0), which outscored their opponents 9-7 with less than three minutes left in the game to pick up the victory. Senior guard Jordan Jones led the Gators with a career-high-tying five treys for 21 points on 20 shots, and senior G Lanita Bartley added 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Florida took 27 shots from downtown in the contest, making just 10, and was outrebounded 42-36 by Michigan.

3 » No. 18/19 Gators volleyball (21-5, 14-3 SEC) concluded the road portion of their regular season in style over the weekend, picking up a pair of hard-fought victories to continue an impressive four-game winning streak. Florida topped the LSU Tigers (17-9, 10-6 SEC) 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-12) on Friday behind a career performance from sophomore middle blocker Chloe Mann, who hit .900 on the evening with 18 kills on 20 swing with no errors and five blocks. The mark is the second-best in NCAA history for a player with 20+ swings in a single match and helped earned Mann SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors as announced Monday.

4 » The Gators had a greater test Sunday against the Arkansas Razorbacks (18-10, 10-7 SEC), fighting back from a two-set deficit to win 3-2 (18-25, 30-32, 25-21, 26-24, 15-9). Mann and senior outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel each had a 19 kills. That mark was a career-high for Mann, while Jaeckel and senior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy each completed a double-double. Florida will face Georgia (Nov. 18), Auburn (Nov. 20) and South Carolina (Nov. 23) at home before beginning NCAA Tournament action in Dec.

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TWO BITS: soccer’s title shot, SEC-Missouri fail

1 » No. 18 Florida Gators soccer (14-5, 7-3 SEC) will compete against the No. 22 South Carolina Gamecocks (14-5, 8-2 SEC) for the Southeastern Conference regular season title for the third-straight year when the two square off in their regular season finale on Friday. This time around, South Carolina holds a lead on Florida and is guaranteed at least a share of the title. A victory by the Gators would force the Gamecocks to split the title at least two ways. LSU could win their match against Arkansas, giving all three teams a share of the regular season championship. The contest will air live on FOX Sports Florida at 7 p.m., so be sure to check your local listings for availability. Admission at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL is free and open to students as well as the general public.

2 » The prevailing sentiment for quite some time has been that the Missouri Tigers would become the 14th member beginning in the 2012-13 athletic year. That eventuality took a step closer to becoming reality this week when Missouri gave their chancellor permission to seek out options and the authority to make a decision regarding conference alignment. With only formalities seemingly standing in the way between the Tigers joining the SEC, college football fans have simply been waiting on an official announcement by the two parties. Thursday evening, the SEC mistakenly published a number of stories on its official website announcing that Missouri has joined the conference and took them all down as soon as possible. However, the remnants of the postings are available in the website’s search history and screen captures of some of the stories have made their way around the internet. In the end, it all just went to confirm even further that the SEC will have 14 teams in 2012 and the East division will gain a new member – likely Mizzou but potentially Auburn.

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Gator Bites for Thursday, September 8th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. In these instances, or when stories fall through the cracks, we try to catch them with Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Remember back in April when Florida Gators forwards junior Erik Murphy and redshirt freshman Cody Larson were arrested for allegedly trying to break into a car? Since then the felony chargers were reduced to misdemeanors for both parties and Murphy accepted a plea deal that netted him fines, community service and a few other minor penalties. Larson’s situation, on the other hand, is not even close to resolved. The Gainesville Sun’s Kevin Brockway reports that he will have a Oct. 31 sentencing date to determine what legal action will be taken against him. He had previously entered a not guilty plea but could change it on the day of sentencing. As individual Florida basketball drills begin this week and practice starts on Oct. 15, according to Brockway, Larson’s status remains up in the air. The duo is currently indefinitely suspended from the team, though the expectation is that Murphy will be reinstated now that his legal situation is settled.

» Gators baseball received a commitment Wednesday evening as outfielder Max White chose to continue his career in Gainesville, FL. Also a left-handed pitcher, White is recovering from shoulder surgery and chose Florida over LSU, Central Florida, N.C. State, Maryland and North Florida, according to the Sun. “I have always wanted to play for Florida,” he told the paper. “To be in the situation where all of my hard work could possibly lead me to play for them — that is a great feeling. I just want to keep at it and I especially do not want them UF to see me slack off.”

» Florida head football coach Will Muschamp is known for his fiery demeanor on the sidelines. This fan video shot from the season opener against Florida Atlantic shows a mini-tantrum he threw during the game.

Read the rest of the Gator Bites (and watch four videos) after the break!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Thursday, September 8th

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Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» The University of Florida’s 2010-11 athletic season officially begins Friday as No. 11 Florida Gators soccer takes on the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Admission is free, and the match will air live on Sun Sports.

» New England Patriots rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez scored his first career professional touchdown on Thursday, catching a four-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter of the team’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hernandez, who lead the team with four receptions and 46 yards, had to turn around to complete the reception in the back of the end zone. Also shining for the Patriots on Thursday was running back Fred Taylor (team-high 11 carries for 54 yards and a TD). Linebacker Brandon Spikes racked up three solo tackles, while defensive tackle Gerard Warren added one assisted.

Eight more Gator Bites on Tim Tebow, Major Wright, Cornelius Ingram, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Haden, Chris Leak, Ryan Lochte and Urban Meyer…after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

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No. 4 Gators softball downs No. 13 Sun Devils, advances to Women’s College World Series

No. 4 Florida Gators softball (48-8) won its second straight game against the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-17), defeating them 5-2 on Sunday in the second game of the Gainesville Super Regional to advance to the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series. Florida’s berth to the event is their third in as many years.

The Gators outscored the Sun Devils 13-2 over the weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, with junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (34-6) earning both victories in back-to-back complete game efforts. She did not allow a single run over the first 12 innings before letting ASU score one in both the sixth and seventh on Sunday.

Like Saturday, junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-2) led the way for Florida offensively with three RBI off of two home runs. Fellow junior first baseman Megan Bush (1-3) added a solo shot of her own, giving the Gators a 4-0 lead going into the last six outs.

Florida will begin the WCWS by facing No. 5 UCLA in Oklahoma City, OK, on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

Baseball selected to host a regional

No. 4 Florida baseball (42-15) has been announced by the NCAA as the host of one of 16 regionals for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Four teams, including the Gators, will compete in the Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium beginning on June 4.

The NCAA will announce the entire 64-team field (including Florida’s three initial opponents) live on ESPN on Monday at 12:30 p.m. This will be the third time in the last six years that a regional has been hosted in Gainesville, FL.

Photo Credit: University of Florida

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FOUR BITS: Softball up one, doubles falls, track

1 » No. 4 Florida Gators softball (47-8) began its quest for a berth in the 2010 NCAA Women’s College World Series with an 8-0 shutout of the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-16) while hosting the Gainesville Super Regional on Saturday night at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior starter Stephanie Brombacher (33-6) has been dynamite in the postseason; she recorded her 11th shutout of the year, pitching a complete game and only yielding four hits. Junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-3) and senior third baseman Corrie Brooks (2-2) each led the Gators with three RBI, while freshman designated player Brittany Schutte (2-3) added two. Florida hopes to conclude Super Regional action by prevailing in the second game, Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

2 » The Gators’ No. 5 doubles pair of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will was eliminated from competition for the 2010 NCAA National Championship Saturday, falling 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 to Tennessee’s No. 1 duo of Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. Florida tennis – both men’s and women’s – has now been completely removed from NCAA competition for this season.

Find out which Gators qualified for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships and what sport Georgia is going after Florida in…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Softball up one, doubles falls, track

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FOUR BITS: Baseball wins another, five more qualify, doubles advances, softball begins

1 » In their second-straight elimination game, No. 4 Florida Gators baseball (42-14), the top seed in the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament, topped the fifth-seed Vanderbilt Commodores (41-17) 5-2 on Friday night at Regions Park in Hoover, AL. Freshman starter Hudson Randall (7-3) earned the win after giving up one earned run over 5.1 innings; freshman reliever Steven Rodriguez tossed two shutout innings for his first save of the season. Junior sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker (2-5) led the way for the Gators offensively with a home run and two RBI; freshman designated hitter Brian Johnson (1-2) added a RBI of his own. Florida moves on to face Alabama on Saturday at 2 p.m. in their third consecutive elimination game. The contest will air live on Sun Sports and ESPN3.com.

2 » Five more members of Gators track and field advanced to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday while competing at the 2010 NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track. Junior thrower Kemal Mesic (first – men’s shot put) and sprinters sophomore Jeff Demps (fourth – men’s 100m dash), junior Terrell Wilks (ninth – men’s 100m dash), senior Calvin Smith (second – men’s 400m dash) and freshman Tony McQuay (10th – men’s 400m dash) are all earning trips to Eugene, OR, to compete for titles. They join the seven other Florida track & field stars who qualified on Thursday.

3 » The No. 5-ranked Florida doubles pair of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will have advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA National Championship after squeaking out a three-set victory over Stetson’s pair of Carolina de los Santos and Valentina Galbrini – 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 – at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. As a singles competitor, No. 8 will fell 6-1, 6-5 to Georgia’s No. 12-ranked Chelsey Gullickson earlier in the day.

4 » No. 4 Gators softball (46-8) is set to begin 2010 NCAA Super Regional action Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they host the No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils (44-15) in up to a three-game series at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. The first game will air live on both ESPN and ESPN3.com, while the second game will take place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m., airing live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. Game three, if necessary, will be played Sunday evening.

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Gators softball advances with wins vs. UCF, FIU

No. 4 Florida Gators softball (46-8) has advanced to its fourth straight 2010 NCAA Super Regional appearance with three straight victories over the weekend as the home team in the Gainesville Regional. After defeating Bethune-Cookman (32-23) 6-0 on Friday, Florida shutout the Central Florida Knights (36-15) 6-0 on Saturday and topped the Florida International Panthers (38-21) 13-3 in the clincher on Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

Junior Stephanie Brombacher (32-6) notched her second and third wins of the tournament on Saturday and Sunday, pitching complete games in all three weekend contests. She helped the Gators finish 10-1 against in-state rivals on the season.

Saturday, junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder (2-4) led the way with three RBI and a home run – her second in as many games, 13th of the season and 98th for the team this year. Sophomore OF Michelle Moultrie (3-4, two runs) and junior second baseman Aja Paculba (2-3, two RBI, one run) provided solid offensive contributions.

A different set of Florida players led the way Sunday with freshman OF Brittany Schutte (1-2) hitting her first career grand slam while totaling five RBI, two runs and two walks. Junior first baseman Megan Bush (3-4) smacked three RBI and came home for two runs, while Bruder (2-3) added another nice performance with three runs scored.

The Gators will face the winner of the No. 13 Arizona State-Long Island game in Super Regional action (likely to be held in Gainesville, FL) May 28-30. The NCAA has announced that all games will be aired live by ESPN.

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