In addition to the football team beginning spring practice and the 12th-ranked men’s basketball team finishing second in the Southeastern Conference, a lot has been going on in the world of Florida athletics. Here’s a brief update on each of the other teams currently in the midst of their seasons.
The No. 2 ranked Gators are off to a 10-2 start this season, are a perfect 9-0 in their weekend series and most recently finished off a three-game sweep of Columbia by scores of 7-0, 7-2 and 8-4. The pitching staff -- led by weekend starters Alex Faedo, Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar along with senior closer Frank Rubio -- have carried the team in the early part of the year while the offense continues to find its groove. Florida has a collective 2.62 ERA through the first dozen games. Only three hitters are above .300 to start the year.
The third-ranked Florida gymnastics team finished second in the SEC regular-season race following a lackluster appearance at No. 2 LSU on Sunday. Florida had a season-high eight routines out of 24 score below a 9.8 in the Gators’ 198.150-196.600 loss to the Tigers. It was UF’s first meet of the year with a team score below 197. The highlight for Florida was Alex McMurtry’s 10 on vault, the second of her career on the event and her fifth perfect score overall. It was one of just five scores at or better than a 9.9.
Florida (7-2, 5-2 SEC) finishes its regular season at home against West Virginia on Friday before heading to Jacksonville for the SEC Championships the following week.
The No. 3 Gators finished their pre-conference slate at 20-1 and found just about every way possible to win. Florida recorded 13 shutouts during its first 21 games -- including a perfect game by senior Delanie Gourley against Iowa on Thursday -- and had 10 games where the team scored at least eight runs (including 7 of those shutout victories). Heading into SEC play, which begins March 11 against Missouri, UF’s pitching staff holds a .70 ERA and has struck out 213 batters compared to just 23 walks. Junior Kayli Kvistad (team-best .479 batting average), redshirt freshman Sophia Reynoso (.456 batting average, team-best 26 hits) and freshman Jamie Hoover (team-best 24 RBI) are pacing the offense.
Track and Field
Florida heads into the two-day NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday following a third-place showing at SECs by the men’s team and an eighth-place performance by the women. UF has 17 total entries (11 men; six women).
Swimming and Diving
The men’s team won its fifth straight SEC Championship back in February, while the women finished seventh. NCAAs are set for March 15-18 for the women and March 22-25 for the men.
No. 3 Florida lacrosse is off to a 3-1 start to the season and has won three straight after a season-opening 13-10 loss to North Carolina. UF’s high-octane offense is averaging 15.75 goals per game and is led by senior Mollie Stevens (13 goals), junior Shayna Pirreca (12 goals) and senior Sammi Burgess (10 goals).
The women’s basketball team’s season came to an end following a 67-48 loss to Texas A&M in the second round of the SEC Tournament. Florida finished the season at 15-16, its second losing season in the past three years.
The top-ranked women’s team is a perfect 10-0 to start the year. The 13th-ranked men’s team is 8-5 to start the season, with four of the five losses coming against top-16 opponents.