Merritt Beason jumps for a hit in the Florida Gators volleyball team's victory over the Auburn Tigers. (Photo from @GatorsVB on Twitter)

Gator Volleyball Sweeps Auburn, Takes Over First Place In SEC

The 14th ranked Florida volleyball team is back on track after sweeping the Auburn Tigers on the road Wednesday night.  The Gators are now 16-4 in season wins and 8-2 in the SEC. After a surprising 0-3 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs last Wednesday, the Gators were able to get a big road win that puts them in first place in the SEC race.

Florida’s offense was on fire Wednesday night, led by 14 kills from both Merritt Beason and Sofia Victoria. Marina Markova followed with 11 kills of her own and Bre Kelley added five. Freshman setter Alexis Stucky handed out 37 assists and added four blocks on the night. Gabrielle Essix posted five blocks with Beason adding three.

Junior libero Elli McKissock led the backcourt defense, posting 14 digs on the night. Stucky added six, and Beason and Victoria each recorded five digs. The Gators finished with three aces on the night, one each from Trinity Adams, Beason and McKissock.

Tight Win

The first set began with a tight race for the lead, neither team holding more than a two-point advantage all the way through the midway point. Auburn took the lead into the media timeout, 15-14, but Florida quickly tied the set at 17. The Tigers continued their fight, trading points with the Gators all the way to the end. Florida pulled out a 2-0 point run at the very end, allowing the Gators to take the set 25-23.

Florida Continues Their Reign

The second set was very much like the first, as the Tigers managed to keep the Gators down 10-9. Florida then delivered three straight points to take the lead, but the Tigers wouldn’t give up and tied the set back up at 12. Florida took a 15-13 lead into the media timeout and continued their lead out of it, going on a 7-3 run to bring the score to 23-16. The Gators closed the set with a 25-18 victory.

Back on Top

In the third set, Florida jumped to a 7-4 lead to force the Tigers to take their first timeout. The Gators didn’t stop there, and delivered a 9-3 run to pull ahead to 16-7. Florida continued the momentum, and sailed all the way to a 25-15 victory to close out the set and deliver the sweep.

Up Next

The Gators will host the Arkansas Razorbacks for a two game series starting Saturday, October 29. Saturday’s match is slated to start at 1 pm, while Sunday’s match will begin at 12 pm.

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