Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

A matchup of two of the elite programs in college volleyball will battle it out at the Stephen C. O’connell Center on Sunday afternoon.

Florida will welcome the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers with first serve going up in the air at 3 p.m. The matchup from Exactech Arena will be aired on ESPN. This will be Florida’s first match on ESPN this season.

Both teams enter Sunday with an undefeated record and plenty of talent up and down their lineups. Their perfect 8-0 records will be put to the test as only one squad can stay unbeaten.

After a come-from-behind rivalry win at Florida State, the Gators will have to collect their emotions to take down the No. 1 team in all the land. Head Coach Mary Wise gave her thoughts on what makes Wisconsin a difficult opponent to prepare for.

Mary Wise: “Their length, their ability to get kills from antenna to antenna and how veteran they are. We won’t play teams as big and as physical as this because there just aren’t that many in the country.”

After Wisconsin sold out their arena for last year’s matchup between the two teams, Florida will hope they can create the same type of environment in Gainesville. Senior, AC Fitzpatrick, a native of nearby Ocala, explained during the team’s media availability how much playing in front of the home crowd means to her.

AC Fitzpatrick: “As a kid, I grew up going to Gator’ games every single weekend, literally dying to be a Florida Gator volleyball player and now that I’m actually here and I’m living out that dream I think that is my favorite part about it. Especially when we do the autographs or the meet and greet after the game, I’m like I was seriously once in this position and it is almost a dream come true.”

The Gators hold a 6-1 advantage over the history of the matchup. The team is encouraging fans to wear blue. Although the matchup was originally going to air on ESPN 2, the Top-3 matchup gained enough hype to get moved to ESPN on the national spotlight at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: