The 9th-ranked Florida Gators (11-2, 3-1) volleyball team has two tough home matchups this weekend. They take on the 25th-ranked Auburn Tigers (12-3, 2-2) Friday at 7 p.m., and they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide (10-5, 0-4) Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Chomping Gators
The Gators have had a very good start to the season, starting 11-2. Their only two losses have come in five sets to Texas A&M and top-ranked Wisconsin.
The most recent matchup for the Gators was a three-sets-to-one road win at South Carolina, which is the first time since the matchup against Winthrop where the Gators finished a game with under five sets played.
On the attack, the Gators have been led by Kennedy Martin, AC Fitzpatrick and Sofia Victoria — who are the top three on the team for kills.
Martin has 213, while both Fitzpatrick and Victoria have 132. Martin is also second on the team in aces with 17, which is one behind Trinity Adams who comes in with 18. Alexis Stucky, who tore her ACL, is still the team’s assist leader with 339.
On the defensive side, Elli McKissock and Trinity Adams lead the team in digs. McKissock has 179 and Adams is second with 116. Anna Dixon and Kennedy Martin lead the team in blocks with 59 each.
The Tigers’ Roar
Auburn has been better than its opponents in almost every single offensive statistic. If the Tigers are going to beat Florida, they’re going to have to dominate offensively. Akasha Anderson leads the Tigers in kills with 179, Bel Zimmerman leads the team in aces with 19 and Jackie Barrett leads them in assists with 500.
On the defensive side, Kendal Kemp leads Auburn in blocks with 56. Sarah Morton leads the team in digs with 139.
Rematch is Set
Florida and Auburn will be playing for the second time this season Friday.
The first matchup took place Sept. 22 at Auburn, where the Gators came back to beat the Tigers in five sets. Auburn won the first set 25-20, and the Gators came from behind to win the second set 26-24. Auburn won the third set 26-24 to put the Gators’ backs against the wall. Florida did not back down, winning the fourth set 25-19 and the decisive fifth set 17-15.
This will be a tough matchup for the Gators, who are facing a 12-3 Tigers team. Auburn’s coming off a 3-1 win against Georgia on Sunday, giving both teams winning momentum heading into this matchup.
— Gators Volleyball (@GatorsVB) September 23, 2023
Stats from Florida-Auburn Round 1
For the Gators, Kennedy Martin headlined the Gators with 16 kills, two aces and five blocks in these two teams’ first matchup earlier this season.
Elli McKissock led the team with 15 digs, and Kennedy Muff had 46 assists.
These Gators will have to step up if Florida is going to defeat Auburn a second time.
Akasha Anderson stood out for Auburn with 18 kills, three blocks and two aces. Sarah Morton had 13 digs, and Jackie Barrett had 40 assists. For the Tigers to pull off an upset on the road, these players will have to excel at a packed Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The matchup against Auburn will start at 7 p.m. Friday.
After this game, the Gators take on Alabama Sunday at 1 p.m.