In their first SEC match of the year, the Florida Gators took on the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Sunday afternoon match up proved to be a tough one as the Gators faced a hardened Arkansas team. UF slid by in the fifth set winning 15-13 on a clutch Carli Snyder kill.
A Victorian Duel
On the Gator side of the net, it was Rhamat Alhassan keeping the team going with her 20 kills and six blocks. The sixth block allowed Alhassan to tie Jenny Patterson for second all-time on the block list. Alhassan had company in gaudy offensive numbers as Arkansas redshirt senior Pilar Victoria combined for 30 kills on 78 tries and had seven digs to go along with that as well.
Gator coach Mary Wise talked pre-game about stopping Victoria but had a tough time with it through the match. The strategy was clear; stop Victoria, win the match. In sets won by the Gators, Victoria combined for only 11 points but on sets that Arkansas won, Victoria had 19 points and six digs.
Alhassan and Victoria were trying to outdo each other all match. While it was Pilar Victoria who prevailed statistically, Alhassan and her team won the match with great team play all around.
Gator coach Mary Wise spoke about the impact of Victoria and how she impacted the match.
While Tuesday’s match against the Florida State Seminoles saw defense take a major role in the win, it was offense that led the Gators to the victory today. Alhassan and Carli Snyder combined for 37 of the kills.
The young core of the team also had a big contribution with Paige Hammons’ clutch play and Rachael Kramer’s game both offensively and defensively. Wise praised Kramer for her big block against Victoria late in the contest.
Player of the Game
Senior Carli Snyder was clutch once again as she was the player of the game. Snyder was responsible for 13.5 points with 12 kills, an ace and 12 digs.
Although Snyder had a rough start to the match with two errors in the first five points, she finished strong. Snyder had the game ending kill in the fifth and final set to ice the game and keep the team’s perfect record alive. Coach Wise had a lot of good things to say about her left-side hitter.
The Gators meet with Arkansas again this season at home on November 10th but next up the Gators get some time off before coming back home to play Tennessee on Friday