The 10th ranked Gator volleyball team is California this weekend, as Florida (3-2) heads down the final stretch of a tough non-conference slate at the USC Classic in Los Angeles. The Orange and Blue will match up against 13th ranked San Diego (5-1) and number six USC (6-0) as part of the four-team tournament that also features SEC rival Texas A&M (although the Gators will not be facing them).
The Gators come into this weekend looking bounce back from two tough match ups. The Gators squared off with its first two ranked opponents of their 2014 campaign at number seven FSU before hosting second ranked Texas last week. The Orange and Blue fell short in both matches, 3-2 against the Seminoles and 3-1 in the tilt with the Longhorns to move to 3-2 overall on their season.
Senior libero Holly Pole says that despite the recent skid, the team is looking forward to their trip to the West Coast.
“It should be fun,” Pole said. “You know, our furthest trip we’ve gone is Tallahassee. So we’re all excited to get out of Florida for a little while and get out to California. Definitely two great teams in San Diego and USC, so definitely excited.”
Florida’s first challenge will be against Toreros of San Diego on Thursday night in the first meeting between the schools. The Gators will then play USC Friday night. The Trojans lead the all-time series 5-2 (all under coach Mary Wise), with the Gators winning in their last meeting in 2005 in five sets. This is the fourth time the Gators and Trojans meet in LA, and the Orange and Blue are looking for their first victory on USC’s home court.
UF’s trip to the Golden State is the second-to-last weekend of their challenging non-conference schedule. San Diego and USC will mark Florida’s fourth and fifth straight opponents, respectively, either ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 Poll.
First serve for Thursday’s match against the Toreros is scheduled for 8 p.m; while Friday night’s matchup against the Trojans will be at 10:30 p.m. You can catch both matches on ESPN 850 WRUF.
For comments from Coach Mary Wise and Holly Pole, click here: