The fourth ranked Florida volleyball team opens its home season this weekend with the Bubly Invitational in the Exactech Arena. The Gators will face seventh ranked Southern California, Louisville, and UCF in this three-day tournament. You can hear Friday’s match against USC on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF starting at 6:50 pm.
The UCF Knights will open the tournament on Friday at 4 p.m. to take on the Louisville Cardinals. The Gators will then face the Southern California Trojans at 7 p.m. Florida is coming off a loss against number three Texas in the Vert Challenge last Saturday. However, they opened their season with a win against second ranked Nebraska last Friday.
Despite losing, Gator coach Mary Wise says the team played better against Texas.
As for Southern California, the Trojans are already 3-0 on their season. They defeated Kentucky, Northern Iowa and Creighton on their home court last weekend.
The Gators will then open play on Saturday against Louisville at 5 p.m. The Cardinals are also coming into this tournament 3-0 on their season. Last weekend, Louisville defeated Tennessee-Martin, Southern Illinois and IUPUI at the Cardinal Arena.
To finish the tournament, the Gators will face UCF on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Knights are heading into this weekend coming off a loss. Miami defeated UCF 3-0 last weekend at the Sunshine State Challenge. However, UCF won the first two matches of the tournament against Florida Gulf Coast and Florida Atlantic.
Florida freshman Thayer Hall, who had 20 and 21 kills in the first two matches of the season, says the team is excited, but there’s nothing new about these teams this weekend.
Hall also believes playing high ranked teams this early in the season will help them in the end.
— Gators Volleyball (@GatorsVB) August 30, 2018