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Volleyball Preview: Gators Match with Rebels in Oxford

After having a good week against Texas A&M and Georgia, the Gators (13-0, 5-0 SEC) travel to Ole Miss (12-7, 3-3 SEC) to for another SEC matchup on Friday at 7:30.

The Gators remain the only undefeated team left in the nation and only one of two teams that are ranked in the SEC along with Kentucky, whom they play on Sunday. The 13-0 start is the Gators’ fourth-best start to a season ever, and it could get even better.

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An Ole Rivalry In Oxford

In their history, the Gators have played the Rebels 51 times. UF has sustained a 48-3 record against Ole Miss, and under Mary Wise, the team is 42-0.

Even with the outstanding record, the Gators are not getting ahead of themselves. They are aware of the potential top-ten matchup on Sunday but are taking it one game at a time. Mary Wise and the team know that Ole Miss plays them hard and will be even better when they play at home against the top-ranked team in the nation.

Last year the Gators swept the Rebels in three-sets. However, looking closer, you’ll realize that the game was closer than it seems. The average point differential during the game was 5 points with the final set resulted in a narrow 25-23 win by the Gators.

Mary Wise spoke earlier in the week about the Ole Miss team they face Friday. Wise was very complimentary of the Rebel offense. She knows that the veteran hitters will be an excellent challenge for the Gator defense.

Adversity in the Past Means Wins in the Future

Every team that is undefeated knows what it takes to overcome adversity. Every game is the opposing team’s best performance. The Gators know this all too well.

Adversity is nothing new to this team as they’ve had to hurdle many obstacles to get to where they are. The most recent obstacle they faced was last week against SEC rival Georgia. Down 5 points in the third set, the gator squad came all the way back and won the set; and the match.

Players like Rachael Kramer were crucial in the win against Georgia and continued to impress during the long winning streak the team is on.

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Kramer spoke in practice on Wednesday about how the team prepares for those situations that require determination.

Practicing for adversity will make the players more confident when they see it during the game. The Gators will need to prepare for hardships this weekend as they will face a lot of it.

A Final Look

With all of these factors in mind, the Gator squad has still never been more confident. They remain favorites in both against Ole Miss Friday and #8 Kentucky on Sunday at home. Mary Wise talked about how both games will be a good test for the group.

Make sure to tune into WRUF to listen to the Gator-Rebel matchup. The game begins at 7:30 but coverage will start at 7:20. SEC Network will also be televising both games Friday and Sunday.

About Dylan Rudolph

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