Florida Gators volleyball is back at the Exactech Arena to host the Arkansas Razorbacks for a two-match series this weekend. Florida enters the match with a 12-2 record while Arkansas is 11-5 in the SEC. The last time the two met, Florida swept the Razorbacks in straight sets on Oct. 11, 2019. The Gators will look for a similar result tonight with the first serve slated for 6 p.m.
The matchup this weekend will present a challenge to Florida as they expect no easy feat. Arkansas brings a solid set of defensive skills as they sit at No. 2 in the SEC in digs averaging about 15 per set. In addition, the Razorbacks sit at No. 8 in blocks averaging two per set. Florida Head Coach Mary Wise explains that the team will have to work for each point.
“Gaining advantage is not easy against elite ball control defensive teams,” Coach Wise said.
The Gators will also need to overcome Arkansas’ offensive skills. Averaging about 13 kills per set, Coach Wise explained that Arkansas has become one of the most improved teams in the past season.
Florida enters the series this weekend with new SEC accomplishments under their belt. This week, Junior Lauren Dooley was named Defensive Player of the Week while Junior Marlie Monserez grabbed her second SEC Setter of the Week honor for the 2020-21 campaign.
Within the Gators’ performance against Tennessee, Dooley averaged 2.17 blocks per set within the two-match series. The blocker registered eight blocks in the sweep and six kills. In addition, Dooley leads the SEC in blocks putting up 1.49 per set on average. Then, setter Monserez earned her SEC honor award when she averaged 11.67 assists per set. Monserez has placed herself in the No. 2 spot for assists in the SEC averaging 10.53 per set.
Although the two players are very different, Coach Wise explained some of their similarities.
Monserez credited her team for her success during their last series matchup against Tennessee.
“It’s super nice to be recognized for something like this, but it’s a team thing, I couldn’t do it without anyone else,” explained Monserez.
— Gators Volleyball (@GatorsVB) March 1, 2021