In the 2014 edition of the Sunshine State volleyball showdown, the 11th ranked Gators fell short in five games after a gritty battle against the eighth ranked Florida State Seminoles in front of a boisterous crowd of 1,408 at Tully Gym.
UF moved to 3-1 on the young season, while FSU added its third victory (3-0) of the campaign with the 3-2 win. The Gators and Noles played five in Tallahassee (30-28, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25, 9-15) for the first time in the rally-scoring era, and the first time overall since 1993.
The first set, which extended 30-28 in favor of the Orange and Blue, was a preview of the battle that would ensue between the Gators and Noles, and on Florida’s side of the net, right side Alex Holston couldn’t be stopped. The sophomore lefty put up a career-best 24 kills and added three blocks to lead UF with a career-best 25.5 points. Holston hit a team-best .447 on the night, while junior middle blocker Simone Antwi posted double-digit kills (11) for the third straight match. Junior outside hitter Noami Santos-Lamb chipped in a career-tying 12 kills and fellow classmate Mackenzie Dagostino dished out a career-best 55 assists, her second consecutive match over 50.
Gator head coach Mary Wise says that despite the loss, the team would not be hanging their heads.
“We couldn’t be more proud of this team and how hard they fought and what a tough environment,” Wise said. “To play this type of team this early in the season. I can’t say enough good things about our grit and our effort, these guys were just terrific. In their heart, in their souls, in every part of the game. I tip my hat to Florida State for making their plays, it was great volleyball.”
The Gators will now turn their attention toward a date with third ranked Texas at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Saturday. That game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
To hear coach Wise’s postgame comments, click here: