Florida Volleyball
The Gators volleyball team cheers after hearing they have been selected to host the first weekend of the 2022 NCAA Tournament on Sunday night. Photo from @GatorsVB via Twitter.

Gators Volleyball Awarded Hosting Rights for First Weekend of NCAA Tournament

The Gators volleyball team gained hosting rights for the first weekend of the 2022 Division I Women’s Volleyball NCAA Tournament. The Division I Women’s Volleyball Selection Committee revealed the 64-team field on Sunday night. The Gators are the No. 3 seed in the tournament in the top right portion of the bracket.

https://twitter.com/NCAAVolleyball/status/1597032076150452224

Florida to Host Rounds One and Two

Florida will host the first and second round matches of the tournament on Friday and Saturday. The Gators will first face off with Florida A&M on Friday at 7 p.m. Before that game, Florida Gulf Coast and Iowa State will take the court at 4:30 p.m. The winner of each match will square off on Saturday at 7 p.m.

https://twitter.com/NCAAVolleyball/status/1597032265275826176

This marks the 28th time in program history that the Gators have earned hosting rights for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Florida has now appeared in 32-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, the third-longest active streak in the nation behind Penn State (42) and Nebraska (41).

Florida is seeking its ninth all-time NCAA Semifinals appearance, with the last being in 2017. During their last season, the Gators reached the program’s 28th Regional Semifinal, ending the season with a loss to No. 1 Louisville.

Gators are SEC Champions

Florida earned the program’s 25th SEC Championship as Co-Champions with the Wildcats after tying atop the SEC standings with Kentucky at a 15-3 record in conference play.

Additionally, the Gators finished the regular season posting a 23-5 record after defeating Ole Miss three sets to two in Saturday’s road win.

Gators Earn SEC Honors

Three Gators volleyball team had three players earn SEC honors on Sunday.

Alexis Stucky was awarded the title of SEC Freshman of the Year, becoming the sixth Gator to ever be named to the title. Stucky was also awarded a spot on both the All-SEC Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team. Stucky has been named SEC Overall Player of the Week twice (Sept. 19, Oct. 17), SEC Setter of the Week twice (Oct. 17, Nov. 7) and SEC Freshman of the Week five times (Aug. 29, Sept. 19, Oct. 30, Nov. 14, Nov. 21). The Florida standout has posted five double-doubles in the 2022 campaign and has led the team to at least a .300 clip in 13 matches this season. Stucky led the Gators in assists 28 times this season, recording a career-high 56 assists against LSU On Oct. 9.

Alongside Stucky, sophomore Merritt Beason and senior Marina Markova both earned spots on the All-SEC team.

Furthermore, Beason is a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week in 2022 (Aug. 29, Nov. 14). She also sits first on the team in points (396.5) and service aces (34), while ranking second on the team in kills (317) and third on the team in digs (176) and blocks (85.0).

Meanwhile, Markova gains her first SEC honor after being honored by the ACC in the 2021 season. Markova eclipsed the 1,000-kill milestone in the final regular season match of the year. In the same game, she reached a Florida career-high 18 kills. The Gators senior is first on the team in kills (320), second in points (364.0) and fourth in blocks (68.0).

https://twitter.com/GatorsVB/status/1596957151829798912

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a third-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

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