Kentucky Sweeps No. 5 Gator Volleyball

It was a shocking way to open SEC play in the “LemDome.” for the fifth ranked Florida volleyball team.  The Gators (12-2, 201 SEC) fell to SEC East rival Kentucky in just three sets Wednesday night.  The Wildcats (9-4, 3-0 SEC) ended Florida’s 12 game win streak (25-17, 25-18, 25-23).  The last time Kentucky swept Florida was November 10, 1990.

The Gators were coming off a strong start to SEC play last weekend after defeating both Ole Miss and Alabama on the road. Florida struggled to get ahead or find a rhythm as a team all night. Senior Alex Holston led the team with 15 digs (her ninth game this season with double digit digs), and she accounted for half of the team’s 30 digs on the night.  Holston also carried the team with a .400 hitting efficiency and team-high 15.5 points.  Junior Carli Snyder had 10 digs, while junior libero Caroline Knop finished with nine.  Junior captain Rhamat Alhassan led the Gators with five blocks, but Kentucky out blocked Florida 11 to 6.

While several Gator players posted high numbers, Florida could not find their stride as a team. Kentucky hit .290 to UF’s .128, served up four aces, and out-dug UF 41-36.  The team looked “off” which could be credited to Florida’s five road trips in the last six weeks.  Gator coach Mary Wise credits the Wildcats for their impressive play but says travel has fatigued her team.

This is the only time these two teams will meet in the regular season, putting Kentucky in the driver’s seat for the SEC.  Senior Alex Holston says the team needs to be used to travel demands and must adapt, because it’s a big part of the SEC season.

Florida hosts Tennessee this Sunday at noon.

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