Head coach Mary Wise announced that over 80% of Florida’s volleyball program has been vaccinated on Monday during media availability.
She and redshirt senior middle blocker Lauren Forte also previewed the upcoming season that begins Friday when the Gators play in the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento, California.
“That is all of the support staff and anybody who would be around the players,” Wise said about the team’s vaccination rate. “We’re doing everything we can to keep the players safe and that’s what’s most important.”
She said the program is back to the same COVID-19 protocols it used back in fall of 2020. Like football, the SEC will not reschedule matches if a team is unable to play due to COVID-19 and that it will be counted as a forfeit.
“That can keep a head coach awake at night,” Wise said. “But I’ll take a forfeit over any player getting or any person in our program getting sick.”
Senior setter Marlie Monserez was the other hot topic of the Zoom media availability. Forte said Monserez brings that light and energy that’s vital on the court in stressful situations.
“When we’re playing these top-10 teams, to have someone who you can look to and you just know that if they’re all right, I’m alright,” Forte said.
The team is set to run a 5-1 offense with Monserez at the reins. Wise said the 5-1 was an easy decision because Monserez is playing the best volleyball of her career, and it would be hard not to have the ball in her hands.
“I feel like we’ve got a number of players that picked up right where they left off,” Wise said. “Marlie I would say is taking it to another level.”
Florida’s first serve of the season is set for 7 p.m. Friday versus San Francisco.
Contact Kaitlyn Wadulack at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @kwadulack.