The No. 7 Gators Volleyball team defeated the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats in a back-and-forth five-set match behind T’ara Ceasar with 20 kills. The Gators extend their win streak to 12 on their senior day.
How it went down
Both teams kept trading points until Kentucky got a 17-14 lead and finished the set 25-18 to take the first set.
The second set also started and stayed close until Florida went up 12-10 and Kentucky went on an 8-1 run to go up 18-13. Florida pulled a 23-22 lead and went to extra time. Two straight kills by Ceasar won the second set for the Gators 27-25.
For a third straight set, the two teams went back and forth. Kentucky got to a 21-16 lead. The Wildcats finished the set 4-1 to go up 2-1 in the match.
After starting the fourth set 7-7, the Gators went on a 9-2 run to go up 16-9. Following a Kentucky timeout, the Gators extended their lead to 10 at 21-11 and tied up the match winning 25-16.
In the fifth and shorter set, the lead was never more than 3 at 13-10. Kentucky forced a 15-15 tie, then Florida finished at 17-15 to win their third straight victory against a Top-25 opponent.
T’ara Ceasar, Marlie Monserez, and other stats
T’ara Ceasar registered her eighth double-double of the season with 20 kills and 12 digs as well as adding on three aces.
Marlie Monserez recorded 50 assists in the match.
Lauren Forte had a season-high 12 kills.
Elli McKissock got 23 digs.
Holly Carlton recorded nine kills, three aces, and four blocks.
The Gators improve to 52-16 in the all-time series against the Wildcats.
“There was some seriously exciting volleyball played today, with a match that could have gone either way,” Gators coach Mary Wise said, “We like to think that both teams are better having played against one another.”
The Gators play Kentucky against on Saturday. They play in the O’Connell Center in Gainesville with Florida looking to improve to 18-2 this season.