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UF Volleyball Preview: Gators Welcome the Razorbacks

After sweeping No. 6 Kentucky last week and beating Tennessee in three sets, the UF squad welcomes the Arkansas Razorbacks Friday at 7 PM.

A Familiar Foe

This match will be the second time the Gators and the Razorbacks meet this year. In their first matchup in September, the Gators won in the fifth set. The Razorbacks posed a significant threat with good hitters on both sides and great defense from the back row.

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The saviors of the game were offensive stars Rhamat Alhassan and Carli Snyder. Alhassan notched 20 kills on over .500 hitting percentage. Carli Snyder had 17 kills including the final point to win the game for Florida.

As both teams swapped big blows, the defense was key late in the match. Caroline Knop had one of her best performances of the season. With 23 digs and a clutch service ace, she was a big factor in the Gators’ victory.

The big-time players will need to have to continue to make big-time plays as Arkansas is expected to put up as big of a fight as last time out.

Know Your Opponent

The Gators struggled with Arkansas for their strong back line defense and their powerful striking ability. In their last match in September, Arkansas had five different players record five digs or more including freshman Hailey Dirrigl accounting for 13 digs and junior Kelly O’Brien getting 11.

The Gators will have to find the right angles and good dumps to get past this defense that will be expecting big spikes from the Florida front line.

Arkansas also poses a huge threat offensively. Senior outside hitter Pilar Victoria has recorded 556 kills on the year and leads the country in points per set with 6.30. The Gator defense will have to keep very close attention to her. They were unable to contain her for the entirety of the match last time they played. Victoria ended the game with 30 kills.

Weekend Wrap Up

The Gators will play in the O’Connell Center for the first time in two weeks on Friday night. The game will be covered live on ESPN 98.1FM/850AM WRUF.

The Gators will also be having their Senior Night against Missouri on Sunday. That game is set for 1 o’clock.

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