Recruiting visits for Vandy, update on Knight

Four-star cornerback John Fulton (Manning, SC) will be taking a trip to the University of Florida for an official visit this Saturday when the Florida Gators take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. Fulton is currently favoring his hometown South Carolina Gamecocks and Alabama Crimson Tide. With Florida already having a plethora of cornerback commitments, he may just be doing his due diligence.

More football, basketball and volleyball recruiting news after the jump…
Continue Reading » Recruiting visits for Vandy, update on Knight

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Basketball wins, four athletes take SEC honors

The University of Florida‘s men’s basketball team began their 2009-10 season Monday night, defeating Saint Leo 95-46 in an exhibition game at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Gators freshman guard Kenny Boynton led the team with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting while going 5/9 from three-point range. Boynton also contributed six rebounds, two assists and three steals and appeared to tweak his knee at some point in the second half. The extent of the injury is not known, though it did not look serious to those in attendance and it is believed he will be fine to play in Florida’s next exhibition game.

Junior forward Alex Tyus recorded a team-high nine rebounds and added 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting, while sophomore point guard Erving Walker was good for 16 points and led the way with nine assists. Redshirt junior transfer center Vernon Macklin grabbed four rebounds and seven points. Also of note is that Israeli freshman PG Nimrod Tishman wants to be known as “Rod” (good choice) during his Gators career.

Football’s sophmore kicker Caleb Sturgis, volleyball’s senior libero Elyse Cusack and soccer players Lauren Hyde and McKenzie Barney all took home individual awards from the Southeastern Conference on Monday. Sturgis was named Special Teams Player of the Week, Cusack and Hyde both earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for their respective sports and Barney won Freshman of the Week. Sturgis kicked a 56-yard and 44-yard field goal in the Gators win over the Georgia Bulldogs.

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Volleyball sweeps again, soccer earns No. 1 seed

Sweeping their sixth consecutive Southeastern Conference opponent, the No. 10/12 Florida Gators volleyball team (18-3, 12-2 SEC) took down the Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-19, 2-13 SEC) 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-22) on the road Sunday in Starkville, MS. Florida sophomore right-side/setter Kelly Murphy recorded her seventh triple-double of the season with 11 kills, 25 assists and 10 digs. Murphy’s triple-double was the 13th of her career, a Gators record.

The Florida volleyball team will return home to host the Georgia Bulldogs (14-10, 5-8 SEC) next Friday at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

In soccer news… The Gators (14-4-2, 8-1-2 SEC) have earned the top seed in the SEC Championship Tournament and will face the defending champion No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers (8-8-3, 4-5-2 SEC) on Wednesday, Nov. 4 in Orange Beach, AL. Meeting earlier this season in Knoxville, TN, Florida and Tennessee tied 2-2 after two overtimes.

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Women’s cross country wins SEC Championship

No. 5 Florida Gators women’s cross country won the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship meet on Saturday, the team’s first conference title since 1997. With all five scoring runners placing in the top 10, redshirt sophomore Rebecca Lowe took first place. Lowe’s victory (20:57.35) was the first time that Florida has had an individual champion since Becki Wells won back-to-back titles in 1995-96. It was also the ninth-best SEC Championship time in school history.

“This title means a lot to us,” Lowe said. “It’s been a long time coming for the Gators and we are proud to bring a championship back to Gainesville. It was also a step forward for us as we look toward Regionals and Nationals. It’s so amazing to win both the individual and team titles today.”

The Gators have advanced to the NCAA South Region Championships where a first- or second-place finish will earn them an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Florida will have a week off before heading to Tuscaloosa, AL, for the meet.

In other Gators news… Men’s cross country fell short of the SEC title, finishing in fourth place … No. 10/12 Florida volleyball (17-3, 11-2 SEC) notched another win Friday with a 3-0 shutout (25-20, 25-22, 33-31) of Alabama Crimson Tide (6-17, 4-9 SEC). Sophomore right-side/setter Kelly Murphy had her sixth triple-double of the season while sophomore outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel recorded a match-high 16 kills.

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FOUR BITS: Soccer rolls; Volleyball wins; Swimming dominates; Tennis in finals

1 » Volleyball (16-3, 10-2 SEC) continues to roll through the SEC as the No. 10/11 Florida Gators swept the Ole Miss Rebels (8-14, 2-10 SEC) in straight sets (25-18, 25-13, 25-16) on Sunday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Sophomore right-side/setter Kelly Murphy continues her stellar play and recorded a match-high 14 kills. Florida goes on the road to Tuscaloosa, AL, to square off against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m.

2 » The No. 12 Florida soccer team (13-4-2, 7-1-2 SEC) defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks (8-6-4, 2-6-2 SEC) Sunday afternoon on the road at Razorback Field by a 1-0 margin. The victory puts Florida in first place in the conference heading into its final match of the regular season Friday, Oct. 30 against No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks.

3 » The Gators women’s swimming and diving team won the 2009 SMU Classic in Dallas, TX, on Saturday, finishing in first-place with 353 points ahead of the Louisville Cardinals, Wisconsin Badgers, Southern Methodist Perunas, Florida State Seminoles and Rice Owls. The rest of the team that did not compete in that event were also victorious on the weekend, taking down both Arkansas and the Kansas Jayhawks in double-dual on the road in Fayetteville, AK.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Soccer rolls; Volleyball wins; Swimming dominates; Tennis in finals

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Milestone reached as volleyball sweeps Arkansas

Friday night, senior libero Elyse Cusack registered 11 digs and became the first player in school history and just the third in Southeastern Conference history to achieve 1,900 digs for her career. Combine that achievement with an outstanding performance from sophomore outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel – who had a team-high 10 kills – and you can understand how the No. 10/11 Florida Gators volleyball team 15-3, 9-2 SEC) swept the Arkansas Razorbacks (10-12, 4-7 SEC) 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-16) in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

Jaeckel’s had 12 digs of her own along with 10 kills on .500 efficiency to record her sixth double-double of the season. Florida is next in action on Oct. 25 when the Ole Miss Rebels come to Gainesville, FL, for a match set to begin at 1:30 p.m.

In other news… The University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 161-123 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The Gators improved to 2-0 this season in dual meets after being led to victory by strong freestyle performances. Florida is 2-0 against the Atlantic Coast Conference this season and will open SEC competition against the Georgia Bulldogs at home on Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. from the O’Connell Center Natatorium.

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SIX BITS: Champions Club; Meyer & Mullen; Penalty mistake; SEC awards; Basketball news

1 » In his weekly Monday afternoon press conference, Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer named his Champions Club for the Arkansas Razorbacks game. On offense, linemen Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, Carl Johnson, Marcus Gilbert were honored, as was quarterback Tim Tebow, running back Jeff Demps and wide receiver Deonte Thompson. Defense received less accolades, with linemen Omar Hunter and Terron Sanders and safety Major Wright getting praise. WR Riley Cooper was named offensive player of the game while CB Joe Haden brought home the defensive player of the game honors.

Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Champions Club; Meyer & Mullen; Penalty mistake; SEC awards; Basketball news

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FOUR BITS: Another Lochte; Volleyball sweeps; Soccer ties, wins; Cross Country finishes 2nd

1 » Former Florida Gators student-athlete Ryan Lochte is one of the most decorated swimmers in school history. A star in college, Lochte moved on to win three gold, one silver and two bronze medals combined in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Looking to return the 2012 Games in London, Lochte is not the only member of his family with aquatic tendencies. His brother Devon, 19, is a redshirt freshman at Florida and plans to compete in mid-distance free style and butterfly this season. “[Devon] has got some real good physical tools and a nice feel for the water,” said Gators swimming coach Gregg Troy. While Devon not nearly as good as his older brother, he is getting there. “If he’s 110 percent devoted and dedicated and willing to push his body, I think he’s going to be better than me,” Ryan said. In truth, all that Devon cares about is getting to the Olympics and achieving his secret lifelong goal. “We never really told anyone, but we want to be in the Olympics on the same relay team,” Devon said.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Another Lochte; Volleyball sweeps; Soccer ties, wins; Cross Country finishes 2nd

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