Florida Volleyball moves on after a five-set match loss against Auburn

The No. 11 Florida volleyball team fell in a five-set against Auburn on Sunday at Auburn Arena (22-25, 25-16, 26-24, 21-25, 16-18). Florida improves its record to 18-5 overall and 10-4 in SEC play.

Florida head coach Mary Wise gave credit to Auburn

In a tightly contest match that had 14 lead changes and 43 ties. There were two sets between the Gators and Tigers that required extra points the third set, which Florida won 26-24 and Auburn finishing the match in the fifth set 16-18. Despite double-doubles from seniors Mackenzie Dagostino and Ziva Recek, the Gators eventually lost in the fifth set even though Florida had the lead two sets to one heading into the fourth set, but couldn’t close out Auburn as the Tigers won the fourth set 21-25 to force a fifth set. Senior libero Nikki O’Rourke also recorded 33 digs for the match, which is the third most in a single match in school history.

Wise credits O’Rourke’s defensive moments in the match.

Junior right side Alex Holston notched a season-tying 19 kills to lead the Gators, while Recek was second in kills on the team with 14 on a total of 31 swings with only just one error, while also adding 16 digs. Dagostino recorded a season-tying 52 assists with 11 digs. Sophomore Carli Snyder was Florida’s third in kills behind Holston and Recek with 12.

Auburn won the 1st set (25-22) in a close battle as UF had a chance to win until the Tigers closed it out and won by 3 points. The Orange and Blue went on a 11-3 run in the middle of the 2nd set to give the Gators control which helped Florida to secure set two, which UF 25-16. Florida used the momentum and energy from the second set in the third set to win 26-24 and take a two-one lead with a chance to close out Auburn and win the match in four sets.

Both the fourth and the fifth sets went down to the wire as both sets featured 25 ties and 10 lead changes, but in the end both sets went the home team’s way as Auburn came back and won the fourth set (25-21) and the fifth set (18-16).

Sophomore Rhamat Alhassan and Recek led the Gators in blocks with 6 blocks apiece.

The Gators are 0-4 in five-set matches this season. All of those losses are on the road. Gator head coach Mary Wise lost her first game against Auburn ever as the Florida head coach. Before the game on Sunday, she was 40-0.

Wise said the making more plays on the road is the difference. 

Up next for the Gators are two home games as they look to rebound first against Alabama on Friday (7 pm) and then Tennessee on Sunday (1:30 pm) in the O’dome.

About Robert Van Deering

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