The Florida Gator volleyball team did not skip a beat on Tuesday night; the third ranked Gators defeated 19th ranked Florida State three sets to none at the O’Connell Center to stay undefeated on the year.
Florida started the night off fast as they got out to a quick 9-4 lead in the first game. Florida held a 24-14 lead in the first set before Florida State roared back with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 24-21. Senior Rhamat Alhassan clinched the first set for her team with a set ending kill.
Florida coach Marry Wise says that her team made some passing adjustments which helped them close out that first set.
Alhassan added another chapter to what has been a great season so far as she finished with 13 points. The senior was honored in front of the home crowd after she reached the 1,000 kill and 500 block career milestone. Alhassan says that she credits all her individual achievements to her teammates.
The defining moment of the night was a Shainah Joseph block that concluded a 7-0 second set run. The consecutive string of points gave the Gators a 13-6 lead that they never looked back from. Senior Caroline Knop ended the second set on a loud note with one of her two aces on the night.
With a two set to nothing lead in hand, the Gators kept the foot on the pedal. Florida scored eight consecutive points until Florida State’s Deja Williams kill ended the run. Florida ultimately won the third set by a score of 25-12. The Seminoles only registered one block in the third set compared to three for Florida.
Making a difference defensively
Defense is what separated the Gators from their rival on Tuesday night. Florida had 10 blocks in total, while the Seminoles had three. Wise mentioned that her team did an excellent job with digs and being patient.
Alhassan says that the team has been working on being smart and aggressive defensively since day one.
Player of the game
Senior Carli Snyder did it all for the Gators as she scored 13.5 points and had 12 digs. Snyder entered Tuesday’s match ranked second nationally and first in the SEC in aces per set. She has the potential to be the first Gator to be ranked in the top 25 in aces per set since Mackenzie Dagostino accomplished the feat in 2010.
With the win, the Gators find themselves with an 8-0 record, four of those wins coming against ranked opponents. This Sunday marks the beginning of SEC play as Florida travels to Arkansas to play the Razorbacks at 2 p.m.