Florida Volleyball Sweeps Ole Miss in SEC Opener

The Florida volleyball team opened play Friday in the O’Connell Center with a three game sweep of visiting Ole Miss. The Gators took the first set of the match 25-19. Coming into the second set was more challenging as the Rebels played scrappy against the Gator offense. Outside hitter Carli Snyder would secure the second set for the Gators with her kill, ending the set 25-22. Middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan’s 12th kill of the night gave the Gators the third and final set of the match at 25-12. Alhassan says the team understood what they needed to do to close out the match after the first two close sets. “I think we knew after playing those first two sets we finally understood what it was that we needed to do and improve on and we started doing that. That’s why that third set was so much better for us.” Alhassan recorded 12 kills on the night with a .526 hitting percentage along with six blocks. Florida coach Mary Wise says the Gator offense was not as aggressive in the first two sets as the last set of the game. “I think we were not as aggressive attacking as we needed to be, but early on Alex [Holston] took some great swings; they just made better digs. That’s the game, it happens.” Right-side hitter Alex Holston says once the team went into the locker room they were able to refocus for the third set. “I think it was just us going into the locker room. There [weren’t] any technical corrections that we had to make going into the third set, but I really think it was our energy and focusing

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on our side and playing Gator volleyball,” Holston said. Holston recorded 10 kills and three blocks for the game. The Gators are well known for their exceptional blocking abilities, ranking them at number two in the NCAA. Wise says blocking makes the points as much as their kills. “Blocks [are] a skill that can make up for so much. If we’re in first ball and we don’t get a great pass-set-hit in transition, we can block a ball, we can still score that point.” The Gators recorded 11 team blocks during the game as opposed to just two for the Rebels. The Gators only have a day to prepare for the game Sunday against Kentucky. Wise says the Wildcats will be challenging because of their size and offensive abilities. “Kentucky is a very good team with one of the more offensive setters…one of the best blocking middles. They’re bigger, more physical than a lot of teams we’ll play so it will be a great match on Sunday.” The Florida Gators will host the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday in the O’Dome at 1:00 PM. Live coverage will begin here at 12:50 PM. To hear audio from the story, listen here: Alhassan says Gators understood what they needed to do Wise says Gators weren’t aggressive in first two sets Holston says energy helped in the third set Wise talks about blocking Wise talks about Kentucky

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