No. 20 Florida Falls in Five to No. 10 Arkansas
Three Gators recorded double-digit kills.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 20th-ranked Florida volleyball team fell in a five-set thriller to No. 10 Arkansas (20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 11-15) on Sunday afternoon inside Barnhill Arena. The Gators are now 17-8, 9-7 SEC and Arkansas moves to 24-4, 14-2 SEC in the 2023 season.
Florida fell 25-20 in the first, but responded with a 25-21 second-set victory. Arkansas grabbed the third-set 25-20 to take a 2-0 match lead, but Florida bounced-back with a 25-19 win to take the Top-20 matchup into five. The Razorbacks came away with a 15-11 fifth-set win.
Florida’s offensive attack was led by Kennedy Martin and AC Fitzpatrick, who both posted 19 kills. Sofia Victoria finished with 12 in the fifth-setter.
Fifth-year setter Kennedy Muff ended the afternoon with 50 assists and 18 digs to record her seventh double-double of the season. Libero Elli McKissock contributed with seven assists of her own.
The Gators out blocked the Razorbacks (14.0-8.0), with Martin leading the way with eight, followed by Gabbi Essix’s seven.
As a team, Florida registered 84 digs, setting a new five-set team-high. Muff and McKissock both finished with 18, while Emily Canaan (13) and Martin (12) combined for 25.
Trinity Adam’s had two of Florida’s four aces, with McKissock and Martin having one a piece.
The Gators return home on Wednesday, Nov. 22, hosting South Carolina. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. on SEC+. Wednesday’s match will serve as Senior Day for Florida’s six seniors: Anna Dixon, AC Fitzpatrick, Elli McKissock, Kennedy Muff, Nnedi Okammor and Sofia Victoria.
No. 20 Florida (17-8, 9-7 SEC)
No. 10 Arkansas (24-4, 14-2 SEC)
How It Happened
* Tied at five, Arkansas went on a 4-0 scoring run to take a 9-5 advantage in the opening set. A block from Gabbi Essix brought the Gators within two and an ace from Trinity Adams made it even at 13. The Razorbacks scored the next three points out of the media timeout to gain a 17-15 advantage, to which Florida called its first timeout. Arkansas maintained a four-point lead throughout the final points of the set and the Gators called their final timeout, trailing 22-17. Out of the break, Martin had two kills to keep Florida alive, but an Arkansas grabbed a 25-20 win.
* There were eight ties and four lead changes in the first set.
* Florida fell to an early 8-4 deficit in the second frame, where the Razorbacks kept a steady four-point advantage. An Arkansas serving error followed by a kill from AC Fitzpatrick cut it to 10-8 and Florida would go on to tie it at 13, but the Razorbacks responded to take a 15-13 lead going into the media timeout. Out of the break, a block from Nnedi Okammor and Kennedy Muff tied it back up at 17. Florida called its first timeout of the set, trailing by one. Out of the timeout, Okammor and Sofia Victoria had a huge block to knot it at 20, and an Arkansas attack error gave the Gators a 21-20 lead. A kill from Martin increased the lead to two and the Razorbacks would call their first timeout. Following the timeout, an Ace from Trinity Martin gave Florida set-point and Kennedy Martin’s 10th kill gave Florida a 25-21 second-set victory.
* Florida posted a .316 clip in the second frame.
* A block from Okammor and Martin tied it at seven and AC Fitzpatrick followed with a kill to put Florida up by one in the third set. A 3-0 scoring run behind Trinity Adam’s serving extended the lead to 13-10 lead and Arkansas would call its first timeout of the set. Out of the timeout, the Razorbacks battled back to take a one-point lead, which Florida would then use its first timeout. Arkansas increased its lead to four and the Gators called their final timeout trailing 19-15. Back-to-back kills from Martin made it 23-20, but the Razorbacks clinched the third-set with a 25-20 win.
* Florida had four team-blocks in the third, with AC Fitzpatrick and Kennedy Martin both recording a solo block
* A 4-0 scoring run behind McKissock’s serves gave Florida an early 4-2 advantage at the start of the fourth set. Both teams battled back-and-forth, but Florida maintained a two-point lead. A huge block from Martin and Okammor against Arkansas’ outside hitter Jillian Gillen, followed up by another Arkansas attacking error Extended Florida’s lead to 13-9, which would force a Razorback timeout. Out of the break, Florida pushed the points, gaining its largest lead of the set, 18-12 and Arkansas called their final timeout. The Gators pulled to a 22-15 lead, but Arkansas posted back-to-back kills, cutting its deficit to four. AC Fitzpatrick made it Florida’s serve, and a Martin attack made it set-point. AC Fitzpatrick called set, putting one down for a 25-19 fourth-set victory.
* The Gators held Arkansas to a .140 clip in the fourth set
* With the race to 15, both teams were all out defensively, refusing to let a ball drop. A kill from Martin followed by a block from her and Essix put Florida up by one. Two errors tied it all up at six, but a backrow attack from Martin made it 8-7. The Razorbacks tied it back up, where points would go back-and-forth until Arkansas scored two-points for a 12-11 lead. Florida would take a timeout, but Arkansas came away with a 15-11 win.
* Martin and Fitzpatrick both finished with three kills in the final frame
* Kennedy Martin’s 19 continues her streak of registering 10 or more kills in every match this season.
* Elli McKissock’s 18 digs puts her at 1595 career digs (2nd in Florida History)
* Two Gators recorded double-doubles; Kennedy Muff recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 50 assists and 18 digs and Kennedy Martin recorded her sixth with 19 kills and 12 digs.
* Three Gators finished in double-digit kills; Kennedy Martin (19), AC Fitzpatrick (19) and Sofia Victoria (12)
* The last time Florida had three players in double-digits was against Tennessee (11/3)
* AC Fitzpatrick’s has finished 14 matches with double-digit kills and Sofia Victoria has now recorded eight double-digit kills of her own
* Kennedy Muff’s 18 digs surpassed her previous season-high 13 against Texas A&M (9/27)
* Martin’s 12 digs ties her career high, for the third time
* Sofia Victoria’s seven digs becomes a new season-high, which surpassed five that she has recorded three times this season
* Florida’s 82 digs is a five-set team-high, surpassing the 67 against Tennessee (11/3)
* The last time Florida had four players with 10+ digs in a match was against Tennessee (11/3)
* The Gators are now 50-5 (50-5 under Wise) in all-time series against the Razorbacks
* Florida moves to 5-4 in five-set matches during the 2023 season
* The Gators are now 7-3 in five-set matches against the Razorbacks
* The Gators host South Carolina on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
* First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. on SEC+
* Wednesday’s match will honor Florida’s six seniors: Anna Dixon, AC Fitzpatrick, Elli McKissock, Kennedy Muff, Nnedi Okammor and Sofia Victoria.
No. 20 Florida vs. South Carolina Broadcast Information
Date & Time: Nov. 22 | 3 p.m.
Live Stream; SEC+<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/06d31255-fb22-4436-8e78-76b0d648b874> | Live Stats: Statbroadcast<http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=477664> | Radio: Listen<https://floridagators.com/watch/?Live=5249> | Buy: Tickets<https://am.ticketmaster.com/gators/ism/VkIyMzE0>
Series Information – No. 20 Florida vs. South Carolina
Gamecocks | 2023 season: 10-15, 4-12 SEC
* This is the 74th meeting between the Gators and the Gamecocks
* Florida leads 63-10 (55-4 under Mary Wise)
* 3-set: 47-2 | 4-set: 12-4 | 5-set: 4-3
* Home: 32-1 | Away: 29-7 | Neutral: 2-1
* Last Time Out: Oct. 1, 2023 | Columbia, S.C. | W, 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20)
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