In the first of three matches to be played in this weekend’s Lumberjack Invitational Tournament, Florida volleyball defeated California State University Northridge 3-0. Florida dominated this match, posting 7 aces, 11 blocks, and 36 kills.
Head coach Mary Wise credited the team’s athleticism to their success around the net:
Breaking it Down
Florida set the tone early, jumping out to a quick 10-2 lead in the first set. A few kills by CSUN’s All-Conference outside hitter Aeryn Owens brought them within 5 points. It was a failing effort, as Florida closed out the set 25-12.
The second set was perhaps the most exciting. The teams exchanged blows evenly until the score read 11-11. This was as close as it got, as a few kills by Rachel Kramer and Haley Warner silenced CSUN. The Gators won the set 25-18.
The final set was a repeat of the first. Florida jumped out to an early lead thanks to multiple kills by Paige Hammons. Several more blocks by Rachel Kramer (to give her a total of 6 blocks in the match) closed out the match in another 25-12 set.
— Gators Volleyball (@GatorsVB) September 7, 2018
Despite winning in straight sets, Coach Wise still wasn’t fully satisfied:
This is a team that lost five seniors from last year’s team that fell just short in the NCAA championship. Entering this season much younger, there is a lot to learn:
As Coach Wise mentioned, the Gators did a good job gaining advantages over CSUN. The problem was that they struggled to capitalize on the opportunities to get easy points.
On to the Next
Florida is currently on a 3 match win streak carrying over from last week’s Bubly Invitational. Their recent success has carried them to #8 in the NCAA Rankings. The Lumberjack Invitational Tournament continues tonight for the Gators. They will face off against Northern Arizona at 10 pm ET. There will be coverage of the match on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM beginning at 9:50 ET. Tomorrow, they close out the tournament with one more match versus Southern Illinois at noon ET.