Photo by Emma Bissell

No. 22 Gators Volleyball Sweeps Georgia

The No. 22 Gators Volleyball team (8-5) swept the Georgia Bulldogs (4-9) in Athens on Wednesday night to improve to 2-1 in the SEC.

The Gators took the first two sets in comfortable fashion, winning 25-14 in the first and 25-17 in the second set. The third set was a fight, but the Gators walked off the court after winning the set, 26-24.

T’ara Ceasar led the Gators with 13 kills on the night. Thayer Hall also pitched in 11 in her first game back since being sidelined with an ankle sprain. Marlie Monserez recorded 40 assists in the game, landing her in historic company. Monserez became the seventh Gator to record at least 3,000 assists in her career.

First Set

Florida led for a majority of the first set, boasting a .536 hitting percentage while holding the Bulldogs to a .071 rate. The set held in the balance at 7-7 before a Hall kill initiated a four-point run for the Gators that led to a Georgia timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Gators kept their foot on the gas. They held a 20-10 lead and staved off a late Georgia run to take the set 25-14. Merritt Beason led Florida with five kills in the set, and Ceasar tallied four.

Second Set

Florida kept their pace in the second set, jumping out to an 8-3 lead to force an early Georgia timeout. Lauren Dooley capped off the early run with a resounding block at the net.

The Bulldogs closed the gap to 12-9 before giving up a 5-1 run, and the Gators didn’t look back. Again, Georgia made a late run, pulling the margin to 23-16, but Florida regained their composure and prevailed 25-17 to go up 2-0 in the match.

Third Set

The third set was a battle from start to finish. After back-to-back 4-0 runs from each team, the Bulldogs and Gators were tied at 8-8. Both teams went back-and-forth, but the Bulldogs led for a majority of the set, and they took their largest lead of the set at 20-15.

Florida coach Mary Wise took a timeout with her team down by five, and from there, the Gators took over. They exploded for five straight points on a service run from Ceasar to tie the set at 20-20.

After going point-for-point for the final points of the set, the Gators went on a 3-0 run to close out the set 26-24 and put a bow on a road sweep of the Bulldogs.

Looking Ahead

The Gators play next when they host Ole Miss for a two-match series in Gainesville starting on Saturday.

About Parker Fluke

I'm a third-year student at the University of Florida passionate about storytelling and sportswriting. My goal is to work in communications for a professional sports team after I graduate.

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