SIX BITS: soccer-NCAA, volleyball-SEC, Whitson

By Adam Silverstein
November 15, 2010

1 » Opening up the 2010 NCAA Tournament at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Friday, No. 5 Florida Gators soccer (19-2-2, 9-1-1 SEC) scorched the Mercer Bears (10-9-1, 7-3 A-Sun) 3-0. Redshirt sophomore midfielder McKenzie Barney (15’, 73’) and junior MF/forward Tahnai Annis (48’) scored Florida’s three goals as the Gators out-shot the Bears 16-7. Unfortunately…

2 » Florida was not so fortunate in second-round action, taking the Duke Blue Devils (11-7-4, 7-3 ACC) into penalty kicks after the teams were held scoreless through regulation and two overtimes. In PKs, the Gators (19-2-3, 9-1-1 Sec) fell to the Blue Devils 4-2. Duke made all of its attempts while Florida only received goals from Barney and redshirt senior goalkeeper Katie Fraine with Annis’ saved and junior F Lindsay Thompson’s attempt going wide. The Gators end the 2010 season having won both the Southeastern Conference Championship and regular season title.

3 » In better news for the University of Florida, the No. 1 Florida volleyball team (24-1, 17-0 SEC) clinched at least a share of the 2010 SEC regular season title on Sunday by defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide (10-17, 2-15 SEC) 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-17) on Senior Day at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Junior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy was impressive once again, leading the Gators with 10 kills and no errors along with 15 assists and seven digs. She notched her 12th-straight double-double and has been having an impressive season. Florida’s seniors also got in on the action with OH Callie Rivers, middle-back Lauren Bledsoe and libero Erin Fleming combining for 18 kills, 15 digs and six blocks on Sunday. UF has three more regular season matches – all on the road – before the 2010 SEC Tournament begins.

Three more BITS including an interesting piece on a Florida baseball commit…

4 » Gators baseball received somewhat of a surprise commitment over the summer when it learned that right-handed pitcher Karsten Whitson, the No. 9 pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, had decided to spurn an offer from the San Diego Padres to play in Gainesville. He spoke with Yahoo! Sports last week and provided some insight into the decision. “It definitely was hard to turn down that opportunity, and I kept my options open throughout the summer, but I just didn’t feel comfortable signing when the time arrived,” Whitson said. “And I knew that if I went to Florida, I’d be in great hands.” He turned down $2.1 million in the end and believes he made the right decision. “Mentally and physically, I thought I’d be ready for pro ball, but then I get here to Florida and I hardly could walk after just a week of workouts,” he said. “I’m just glad I am here at Florida and can work on things like staying in shape and work ethic. It has been wonderful so far.”

5 » Also stepping up over the weekend was Florida sophomore tennis player No. 111 Sekou Bangoura, Jr., who took home the singles title from the Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic by defeating Arizona’s Andres Carrasco 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in Bradenton, FL. Bangoura, Jr.’s win is the second for men’s tennis this fall.

6 » With an impressive inaugural season under her belt, lacrosse head coach Amanda O’Leary went out and signed a seven-person freshman class for 2011 that includes a number of stars who will help the Gators shine bright in the future including 2010 US Lacrosse All-American Nora Barry (Camillus, NY). Also set to wear orange and blue next year are Shannon Gilroy (East Northport, NY), Nicole Graziano (Mendham, NJ), Sally Jentis (Ridgewood, NJ), Taylor McCord (St. Augustine, FL), Maegan Meritz (Farmingdale, NY) and Mikki Offit (Bethesda, MD).


  1. SaraGator says:

    Whitson’s story is incredible! I look forward to seeing him on the mound.

    Go Gators!

  2. DoubleCheck says:

    I didn’t realize the volleyball team had 924 wins…Geez!

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