Another season of fall sports at UF is upon us.
The Gators begin their seasons in football, soccer and volleyball in less than a week, and here at alligatorSports, we’ll be your one-stop shop for all the Florida athletics coverage you can handle.
UF’s football team opens its 2019 schedule in Orlando on Saturday with its first matchup against Miami since 2013. Coach Dan Mullen’s team staged one of the most impressive turnarounds in the country in 2018, finishing with a 10-3 record which included a win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl a year removed from a 4-7 season. It returns most key contributors from a year ago, including starting quarterback Feleipe Franks. Naturally, fan expectations are high.
Follow Online Sports Editor Sam Campisano, Kyle Wood, Dylan Rudolph and myself as we cover the team in its attempt to return to the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 2016 and make it to the College Football Playoff for the first time ever.
Anticipation for the Gators’ basketball season, which begins in November, is at a fever pitch. You’ll want to stay tuned to River Wells and Evan Lepak. They’ll keep you up to date on the goings-on of UF hoops, including the development of five star true freshmen Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis. With point guard Andrew Nembhard returning to school, the Gators are a hot pick to make a deep tournament run this year. Follow along and see if they can make it a reality.
Florida soccer, on the other hand, has something to prove. Coach Becky Burleigh has built one of the most successful programs in the country, but coming off a losing record and their first NCAA Tournament absence in 15 years, the Gators are in need of a bounce-back year. Bryan Matamoros and Graham Marsh are on the beat — follow them to see if UF can get back on track.
However, unlike Burleigh, Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise has yet to win a national title.
Her squads have come close in the past, notably losing in the championship game in 2017. Coming off a loss in the regional semifinals last year to BYU, Wise can only hope that 2019 is finally the Gators’ year.
Whether it is remains to be seen, but either way, look no further than Assistant Sports Editor Mari Faiello and Brendan Farrell for day-to-day coverage as the team looks to go the distance for the first time.
It’s almost tennis time again, and for the fall season, Victor Prieto and Noah Ram are your guys. Veterans of the tennis beat, they know UF’s men’s and women’s teams as well as anyone. The men’s team fell just short in the NCAA semifinals in the spring but returns stars like Sam Riffice and Johannes Ingildsen. The women’s team fell in the second round of the tournament last year, but with returning players like Ida Jarlskog, the future appears bright.
Florida’s golf programs are consistently among the best in the nation, and for coverage of the men’s and women’s fall seasons, Jack Braverman’s your man. The Alligator’s resident golf guru will be bringing you reports of all the birdies and bogeys this fall.
Alumni of UF’s swimming and diving team include Olympians of the likes of Ryan Lochte and Caeleb Dressel, and beat writer Dylan O’Shea will cover this year’s group of Florida swimmers to see if anyone can follow in their footsteps.
And, last but not least, Joseph Salvador’s got you covered for Gators cross country. The women’s team is coming off a successful season that saw it finish No. 16 at the NCAA Tournament, while the men’s team looks to return to it after missing it last season.
And that about covers it!
Follow @alligatorSports on Twitter and all our reporters for coverage of every Gators sport this fall. We’ve got some great content planned this semester, and we’re excited to bring it to you.
Tyler Nettuno is the sports editor of The Alligator. Follow him on Twitter @TylerNettuno or contact him at [email protected].