Florida volleyball survives yet another thriller Sunday afternoon.
The 11th ranked Gators (14-3, 6-0 SEC) fought back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat SEC rival Georgia in their second straight five-set match. This win moves Florida to 6-0 in the conference for the 22nd season under Mary Wise.
“We knew Georgia had fight in them; we’ve seen them in film all week and we knew how they could play,” junior defensive specialist Chanelle Hargreaves said. “We just had to come out and play how the Gators can play in order to battle back.”
Hargreaves said it was easy for the team to stay positive because they are put through those kinds of situations in practice every day.
A Block Party in the O’Dome
The “roof” was on fire for the Gators when it came to front row defense. Florida recorded 20 total team blocks on the afternoon. That is the third-highest total in program history. Three different Gator players led the way for Florida at the net.
- Senior MB Taelor Kellum
- RS sophomore OH Mia Sokolowski
- Junior MB Rachael Kramer
Kellum was credited with 12 blocks on the day. It was first time a mark was recorded since Rhamat Alhassan’s 12 against Lipscomb on Sept. 16, 2017. Sokolowski had a career-high eight blocks against Georgia while Rachael Kramer had her season best in roofs with seven on the afternoon.
Sokolowski on what helped her blocking:
“The blocking stepped up a lot in the fourth set and that gave us so much energy defensively,” Hargreaves said. “Knowing that they were out there doing their job so that our offense could click.”
— Gators Volleyball (@GatorsVB) October 7, 2018
Another Gritty Performance
“It was the second match in a row where we were fortunate to win while playing some of the best arms in the league,” Wise said. “Georgia played very well and we are very glad that we made enough plays, especially in the fifth set, to win.”
Wise compared the progression of the game to plugging up the holes in a dam. She said when the defense was fine when the offense seemed disconnected and then when the offense clicked the defense began to waver. She said that’s what happens with such a young team.
Hargreaves said the team once again learned more about themselves from that match. Wise said the team has a better idea of what they’re persona is, and making sure the team doesn’t stay tentative.
Hargreaves on her favorite part of the game: