The No. 5 Florida Gator volleyball team lost at home for the first time this season, falling 0-3 (22-25, 23-25, 23-25) to the No. 7 Missouri Tigers. The win kept the Tigers (30-0) undefeated on the season, and all but guaranteed them the conference title. Florida (23-2) has now lost to Missouri twice this season, with the Tigers being the only SEC opponent to top the Gators. Missouri leads the SEC by two games over Florida with four league games left.
Florida was led statistically by middle blocker Chloe Mann, who finished with a team high 16 kills on a .696 attack percentage. Outside hitters Ziva Recek and Alex Holston, two of Florida’s most prolific offensive players, struggled in the match. Recek recorded 12 kills, but had four errors while hitting at a .250 percentage. Holston hit just .080, finishing with nine kills and seven errors.
Missouri setter Molly Kreklow was impressive in leading her Tigers to a victory. Kreklow finished with 32 assists, and added seven kills with only one error. After the match, Gator head coach Mary Wise credited Kreklow for the Tiger’s victory.
“The difference in the match was Molly Kreklow, their setter,” Wise said. “She just was terrific in terms of the tempo that she set.”
A season high crowd was on hand to witness Florida’s defeat. 5,023 were in attendance with the bleachers being filled up through the second level.
“What a great crowd,” Wise said. “Obviously disappointed that we lost, but that was just such great energy. And for our fans that have been begging for the SEC to get better, you have to be careful what you wish for.”
Florida will need to regroup quickly, as they have to turn around and face the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa on Sunday. Setter Mackenzie Dagastino said the team would not let the loss faze them.
“We’re gonna come in to practice tomorrow and work even harder,” Dagastino said. “We still have a goal to make it to the tournament. This one loss, two losses, doesn’t change anything.”
To listen to Coach Wise and Dagastino’s comments, click below