Gator Volleyball Prepares for Round One of NCAA Tournament

For the seventh time in program history, the Gator Volleyball team will enter the NCAA tournament as a top-4 seed.

Postseason play begins Thursday night at the Exactech Arena where Florida will be going up against Alabama State. The Gators come into the game in the midst of an 11-game winning streak.

Florida has advanced to the semi-finals four out of the six times they have been a top-4 seed.

Unfriendly Host

The road to the final four goes through Gainesville as Florida was tabbed as one of the hosts on Sunday.

Historically, the Gators have dominated as a host in the NCAA tournament. As the home team, Florida holds a 51-7 record. In general, the Gators have fared well in the postseason, especially under Mary Wise. With Wise at the helm, Florida is 65-26 overall in the tourney.

Wise believes that playing on their home court gives her team a sizable advantage over the rest of the field.

Scouting The Hornets

Facing Alabama State in the first round of the NCAA tournament is not uncharted territory for the Gators.

This is the second time the Gators and Hornets will meet each other in the first round as they faced each other in the same situation a year ago.  In 2016, Florida was able handle Alabama State soundly as they won in three sets.

Like last year, Alabama State comes into the match as the defending South Western Athletic Conference champions. The Hornets went undefeated in conference play en route to a 28-10 overall record.

Mary Wise said that Alabama State brings a unique challenge because of their athleticism.

Win or Go Home

Florida will begin its quest for its first national championship on Thursday, first serve is at 7 PM. The match will be broadcast live on SEC Network+. ESPN 98.1 FM & 850 AM WRUF will have the call with pregame coverage starting at 6:50.

The winner faces the University of Miami or the College of Charleston.

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