Six. Six wins are what separate the Florida Gators volleyball team from the first ever National Championship in school history. On December 5, volleyball will return to the O-Dome as the #5 seeded Gators host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville. They will be taking on the Jacksonville Dolphins, who are 30-3 on the year. In the postseason however, records can be tossed out the door. It's all about who wants it more.
Now, let's get to my prediction on how the 27-3 Gators will fare in the tournament. They should steamroll through Jacksonville which will set up an epic rematch between them and Florida State on Friday if the Seminoles take care of Georgia Southern like expected. Much of the student body will probably turn out for that game, and I think the Gators will edge the Seminoles once again with a sweep. From there, the Gators will probably face the winner of a #12 Wisconsin/North Carolina matchup. Whoever they get, I still believe the Gators will get past the third round and reach the Elite Eight. There it gets tricky. There is a high chance that the Gators will have to face an old SEC rival in the form of #4 Missouri. From what I have seen this year, this game will be a dogfight. Unfortunately, I think Mizzou will have its way with Florida for the third time this year. I don't want that to happen, but its hard to defend against a team with NINE six footers. Missouri is a good team, they were given a #4 seed for a reason. My prediction for the Final Four is as follows: #4 Missouri vs #1 Texas and #2 Penn State vs #6 USC. Missouri will upset the defending National Champions in Texas, and Penn State will take care of USC. In the National Championship, I have #4 Missouri against the heralded #2 Penn State Nittany Lions. Finally, between these two, the 2013 National Champion will be...
The Mizzou Tigers will win in four sets over Penn State. They will go a remarkable 40-0 and claim the first National Championship in school history. Penn State has always been ridiculously good when it comes to volleyball, but any team that can beat the UF Gators twice (or potentially thrice) times in a season deserves to win the title. Keep in mind that this is my prediction and that things can shape out very differently because not all games are won on paper. Regardless of what happens or how far the Gators get, they have had yet another superb season and will be a contender as usual when the 2014 season dawns next August.