Florida head coach Mary Wise talks with her team before their match against New Hampshire.

Gator Volleyball Falls to Florida State, Leave NCAA Tournament Early

“[It] sure lived up to its billing. Easily one of the most disappointing losses.”

Those were the words Florida volleyball head coach Mary Wise used to describe Saturday night’s match in Gainesville. In a five set thriller, Florida fell to in-state rival Florida State in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Volleyball Tournament.

The Game

During the regular season, it was the Gators who defeated the Seminoles 3-1. After the first two sets of Saturday night’s match, it looked like Florida would win again. The Gators held Florida State to 13 points in the first set, 25-13. Florida State managed to improve in the second set, but Florida still outdid them, 25-19. When the two teams left the court after the second set, it looked like the Gators had it all figured out.


And then Florida State came back out with a mission in mind.

The Gators led from the very beginning of the third set. Florida made it to 18 points, before Florida State went on a 4-0 run to tie up the set and later take the set, 25-23. From there on, the table turned on the Gators. The Seminoles went on a 6-0 run in the beginning of the fourth set. Florida never led in the fourth set, which Florida State took 25-19. The fifth set was a set of back-and-forth between the two teams, before the Seminoles went on a 3-0 run where Melanie Keil ended the match with an ace.

Key Notes

Despite the loss, the Gators led the Seminoles in every category but blocks. Florida State held the Gators to only eight blocks, compared to their own 10.

Alex Holston led both teams in kills with 23. Katie Horton led Florida State with 18 kills of her own, tying with Florida’s Carli Snyder. Thanks to three aces from Allie Monserez and one each from Chanelle Hargreaves and Darrielle King, the Gators had five aces in Saturday night’s match.

Though they did have the most aces during the match, Florida did suffer from their serves. The Gators had 15 service errors throughout the match.

Florida’s Carli Snyder noted that in the end, Florida State just got the best of them.

Looking Forward

For the only Gator senior and three-time All-American Alex Holston, Saturday night was her last chance to be an NCAA champion; her last match as a Florida Gator. She definitely won’t be forgotten, though. After Saturday night’s match, Holston holds the fifth spot all time for Floirda for kills (1,506) for the Gators.


Saturday night’s loss wasn’t the way Mary Wise wanted Holston’s Florida career to end.

For the 2016 SEC champion Florida Gators, the game they love is over until next year.

And next year, Caroline Knop promises, will not end like it did Saturday night.

About Kayla James

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  1. Sadly, had to watch on ESPN3 streaming, a horrible experience not just for the constant freezing and wavering signal strength, but took me 15 minutes to get the right channel….Since the Gator Football fade of 2016 I have adopted the women’s volleyball squad as my favorite GatorNation athletes. I was blown away at the level of play, the energy, the sheer joy they possess…it was infectious. I had to leave after the first two sets thinking they had the Seminoles right where they wanted them. I also remember the announcer pointing out how Florida State had some come from behind victories along the way. Signed on today only to find the Gators had lost…wow. I’ll miss them all and wait for next year, minus Alex, when they should be a better team.
    Go Gators!

  2. I finally got around to watching the replay of the match last night. Wow! The fans got their money’s worth and were treated to a 2-for-1 match. The Gators could not have been any more dominate that what they were during the first 2 sets, and then the 2nd match began with exciting play in the 3rd set.

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