UF VB | Gators Top Aggies in Straight Sets

Five Florida players hit over .350 in the match

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 23rd-ranked Florida volleyball team swept the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday evening in Exactech Arena.

The Gators moved to 12-6, 6-2 SEC on the year, while Texas A&M is now 11-7, 4-4 SEC on the year.

UF took the first set handily, winning 25-12, before following up with 25-19 victory in the second set. The Gators closed out the match with a decisive 25-15 win in the final frame.

Florida’s offensive attack was led by a 12-kill performance from T’ara Ceasar. Lauren Forte added nine kills on the night, while Merritt Beason and Thayer Hall each pitched in eight kills of their own. Lauren Dooley rounded out the scorers with seven kills in the three-setter.

Five Gators hit over .350 in the match: Forte (9-0-14, .643), Marlie Monserez (3-0-5, .600), Dooley (7-1-11, .545), Ceasar (12-1-25, .440) and Beason (8-2-17, .353).

Monserez dished out 34 assists in the match, leading the team to a .438 clip. That mark is the third-highest hitting percentage for the Gators this season.

As a team, Florida held Texas A&M to a .095 clip and notched nine blocks at the net. Forte led the way with four stuffs, while Beason and Dooley each notched three apiece.

The backcourt defense was led by Elli McKissock, who posted 15 digs in the three-setter. Hall added 10 of her own, while Beason registered six digs on the night.

Ceasar recorded three service aces in the match, followed by one from Beason.

The Gators are back in action on Wednesday, taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala. First serve is slated for 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

No. 23 Florida (12-6, 6-2 SEC)
Texas A&M (11-7, 4-4 SEC)

How it Happened

  *   Texas A&M got out to the 6-3 lead in the first, but it was the last advantage the Aggies would see in the set after the Gators battled back with a 5-0 run to grab the 8-6 lead. TAMU dug itself out of the hole, tying the set at 9-9 before Florida went on another run, this time a 3-0 spurt to force a Texas A&M timeout at 12-9. Out of that break, the momentum belonged to Florida, with the Gators taking the 21-11 lead behind service runs from Monserez, Hall and McKissock. The Aggies got one back at 21-12, but Florida closed the set on a 4-0 run to take the 1-0 lead in the match.
     *   UF hit a stellar .621 in the first set, led by six kills from Ceasar. Beason closely followed with five of her own, while Forte added three kills in the set.
  *   The start of the second set was tight between the two squads, but the Gators pulled ahead three at the 11-8 mark and did not look back. Florida pulled ahead as many as nine at the 19-10 mark behind a Ceasar service run before the Aggies pulled within three at 20-17. The Gators were able to close out the set on a 5-2 run to take the 2-0 lead in the match.
     *   UF hit .333 in the second set, led by five kills from Dooley on a .714 clip. Ceasar added four in the frame, while Hall pitched in three kills of her own.
  *   Florida fell behind 5-2 early in the third set, but answered with a 5-1 run to force a Texas A&M timeout with UF leading 7-6. The Gators continued to grow their lead out of the timeout, pulling ahead five at 19-14. The Aggies cut the deficit to four at 19-15, but Florida closed the match on a 6-0 run to move to 12-6 on the year.
     *   The Gators hit .370 in the final frame, while holding Texas A&M to a -.036 clip. Forte posted a team-high five kills, while Hall added three in the set.

  *   Florida held its opponent to under a .100 clip for the fourth time this season
  *   The Gators improve to 20-1 against the Aggies in the all-time series
  *   Florida is now 8-0 in three-set matches against Texas A&M
  *   The Gators improve to 10-0 against the Aggies in Gainesville, Fla.
  *   UF is now 9-1 in three-set matches during the 2021 campaign
Thoughts from Coach Wise

  *   “It was a night where Marlie had a lot of choices to make with our offense and the hitters were both creative and effective. From a defensive standpoint, against a very challenging offense with one of the best setters in the league, we did a great job holding them below their average.”
Up Next

  *   The Gators head to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to take on the Crimson Tide on Wednesday
  *   The match is slated for 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU
No. 23 Florida at Alabama Broadcast Information
Date & Time: Oct. 20 | 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPNU
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Series Information – No. 23 Florida at Alabama
Crimson Tide | 2021 season synopsis: 9-9, 1-5 SEC

  *   This is the 50th meeting between the Gators and the Crimson Tide
  *   Florida leads the series 49-0 (47-0 under Mary Wise)
  *   3-set: 45-0 | 4-set: 4-0 | 5-set: 0-0
  *   Home: 25-0 | Away: 21-0 | Neutral: 3-0
  *   Last Time Out: Oct. 31, 2021 | Gainesville, Fla. | W, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-22)


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