Gator Volleyball Team Adds Holy Trinity’s Swalchick

By  //  April 16, 2012

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BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The University of Florida volleyball team added Holy Trinity’s outside hitter Jackie Swalchick to an already outstanding 2012 class, according to Florida head coach Mary Wise.


Joining Swalchick on the Gators are outside hitter Živa Recek (pronounced Ghee-vah Res-ick) of Ljubljana, Slovenia and libero Nikki O’Rourke  of Clearwater, Florida.

Recek, O’Rourke and Swalchick join fellow incoming freshmen Dana Backlund (Wildomar, Calif.), Gabby Mallette (Orange Park, Calif.) and early enrollee Berkley Whaley (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) as a member of next season’s freshman class, as well as redshirt freshman Simone Antwi (Lorton, Va.).

“Beyond Živa’s international experience, she brings the skills of a six-rotation outside hitter who has the ability to score points for us in the front row, back row, and behind the service line,” Wise said.

“Jackie and Nikki are two of the top players in Florida, currently playing on two of the most successful club teams. They both know how to compete and how to win.”

Florida head coach Mary Wise. ( image)

“The 2012 class as a whole, by its talent and depth, has a chance to play a major role in our success over the next four years,” Wise added.

Swalchick is a 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Florida. She is a 2011 AAU All-American and 2010 Space Coast Player of the Year.

Swalchick played her club ball with Orlando Volleyball Academy, the same volleyball club as former Gator greats Sherri Williams, Callie Rivers and Erin Fleming, as well as future teammate Madison Monserez  of Orlando.

Named team captain and team MVP in 2010 and 2011, the Holy Trinity Tigers were state runners-up in 2009 and district champions in 2010. Swalchick was the MVP of the Brevard County All-Star game and is a two-year participant of the USAV High Performance program within the state of Florida.

Swalchick is a member of National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society, maintaining a 4.10 GPA while juggling her responsibilities with the Latin Club, participating in multiple leadership conferences and institutes and earning Highest Honor Roll recognition all eight semesters of high school.

Along with the seven freshmen, the Gators also welcome back eight returners and Louisville transfer Taylor Brauneis of Crystal Lake, Illinois to the 2012 roster.

For  information on Florida volleyball, log on to or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida volleyball on Twitter at @GatorZoneVB or and Coach Mary Wise on Twitter at @GatorMary or You can also find the Gators on Facebook.

Members of the UF volleyball Class of 2016

Name Position Hometown
Simone Antwi* Middle Blocker Lorton, Va.
Dana Backlund Setter/Outside Hitter Wildomar, Calif.
Gabby Mallette Outside Hitter Orange Park, Calif.
Nikki O’Rourke Libero Clearwater, Fla.
Živa Recek Outside Hitter Ljubljana, Slovenia
Jackie Swalchick Outside Hitter Melbourne, Fla.
Berkley Whaley* Outside Hitter Saint Petersburg, Fla.