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Gator Volleyball Preview: Showdown in Tuscaloosa

The Gator volleyball team suffered their first loss against SEC rival Kentucky last Sunday and will look to bounce back this weekend. The squad is going on a road trip as they travel to Tuscaloosa on Friday to play against The Crimson Tide. They will also head to Auburn on Sunday to play the Tigers.

Gator fans will get to see how the team responds to a loss after their 14 straight games winning streak to start the season. Rachael Kramer said that the team will review what went wrong and will come back even better.

Moving On

Mary Wise will look to prioritize consistency in practice this week as consistency was one of the leading struggles the team had in the loss to Kentucky. Wise spoke about how good the Kentucky team is this year and how they can learn from the game and move on.

While the result to the game was not what they were looking for, the Gators do have some bright spots to look at.

Rhamat Alhassan has been on fire recently, totaling 30 kills and one error on 48 attacks in seven sets last week, which is good for a .604 hitting percentage. Alhassan also had 11 blocks to total 36 points. The team will look to feed her more for the upcoming matches.

Alabama, while not a top-ten team, will pose a similar obstacle that Kentucky did. At 14-7, Alabama has improved off of what was a lackluster season in 2016. The Crimson Tide will have an opportunity to show their improvement when they welcome this Gator team who they have never beaten. Mary Wise is 41-0 against them and will look to continue that streak.

Behind Enemy Lines

The Tide poses a threat to the Gators from both the outside and the inside.

Alabama has a strong middle hitter in Leah Lawrence. With 204 kills on .345 hitting percentage, Lawrence will be something the Gators will have to look out for. Florida players in the middle like Alhassan, Kramer and Cheyenne Huskey will need to be consistent in their blocks to keep Lawrence at bay.

While the threat on the inside is lethal, the outside is no weakness either. True freshman Christine Jarman has exceeded expectations and is second on the team in kills with 196. Jarman does struggle with errors (leads the team with 103). The Gators will hope to take advantage of that.

One Last Look

The SEC matchup is set for 8:00 but coverage will start on WRUF at 7:50. The game will also be televised on SEC Network as well.

How the Gators respond after suffering their first loss should give an idea as to how the rest of the season will go.

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