The ninth ranked Florida volleyball team got its third win over a top-25 opponent this season with a sweep against 19th ranked Texas A&M (25-12, 25-23, 25-17) to complete a weekend sweep at home in front of the Gator faithful in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Orange and Blue added a sixth win to their undefeated SEC slate, while improving to 12-3 overall on the season.
Florida relied on its veteran defense in the back row and posted 10 blocks on the afternoon as UF limited the Aggies (11-5, 3-2 SEC) to just a .119 hitting efficiency in the three-set victory. The Gators rode the arms of sophomore right side Alex Holston and freshman middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan, as the duo combined for 23 kills and nine blocks. Holston hit a season-best .545 on the afternoon, while Alhassan turned in a .368 clip.
Senior Taylor Unroe paced the Gators with 10 digs, while fellow senior libero Holly Pole scooped up nine. Holston rallied for a season-tying seven digs and UF had zero reception errors for the fourth time this season.
The Gators are undefeated all-time against Texas A&M, including a perfect 5-0 at home in the O’Dome now.
UF slammed down 43 kills, compared to Texas A&M’s 29, and the Orange and Blue limited the league’s top hitting team to a .119 hitting efficiency while turning in its second-best offensive efficiency in SEC play with a .395 hitting percentage.
Gator head coach Mary Wise pointed out postgame that despite the strong offensive numbers in the box score, the defense was the biggest factor in this match.
“As good as the offensive numbers were in this match,” Wise said. “The true story has to be our defense. From the serve, the block, the back row play — it was as good a defensive performance as we’ve had all year.”
The Gators will now have a quick turnaround as the Gators head to Columbia, South Carolina for a mid-week tilt against the Gamecocks. First serve between the Gamecocks and Gators is slated for 6 p.m. at the Carolina Volleyball Center. After the Wednesday match, the Gators will next play Sunday at home against Arkansas. You can catch both matches on ESPN 850 WRUF.
To hear postgame comments from coach Wise, Taylor Unroe, and Alex Holston, click below: