Kennedy Muff sets the ball in the Gator volleyball team's loss to Texas A&M on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Emma Bissell.

Gators Volleyball Team Swept at Home by Auburn

Florida Gators volleyball team suffered a devastating loss to No. 25 Auburn in a three-set sweep in the O’Connell Center on Friday night.

The No. 9 Gators are now 11-3 on the season and to 3-2 in the SEC. With their second loss in three games it will be a tough road for the Gators to prove themselves the rest of the season.

Another Step Backward

After the loss to Texas A&M last Wednesday Florida dropped from No. 4 to No.9. Since the loss of star setter Alexis Stucky to injury, the Gators have been on a downward trajectory.

This time out, defense and errors were a major problem. The Gators allowed the Tigers to post a .387 hitting percentage on the night and 47 kills in the three sets. The elite blocking that the Gators have had in recent outings was also not prevalent on Friday. The Gators only posted two total blocks and both came in the first set. Auburn seemed to capitalize on the collapsing blocks of Florida, scoring a lot of points off of tipped hits which eventually ended up out of bounds.

The errors were another aspect where the Gators fell flat on Friday. The Gators recorded 21 errors in the three sets, including 11 service errors. Even with the Tigers putting up an even worse 14 service errors, Florida wasn’t even able to keep the game close.

Some Gator Bright Spots

Freshman phenom Kennedy Martin continued to impress against Auburn. Martin posted a team-high 12 kills while hitting .333. She also recorded three digs in the match.

Opposite of Martin, Sofia Victoria also had a solid game in a rare start for her. Victoria had eight kills on a .227 hitting percentage and at some points in the match seemed to be the only one who could score for the Gators.

There wasn’t much to be proud about Friday night, but rest assured that Florida’s hitting will continue to be one of the strongest in the country.

Looking Ahead

The Gators will stay in Gainesville this weekend to host Alabama on Sunday afternoon. After dropping two of their first five conference matchups, a win against an unranked Alabama is necessary to stay in the hunt for a conference title this season.

You can catch the game airing live on SEC+ and on ESPN 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF. First serve is set for Exactech Arena at 1 p.m.

About Nick Abreu

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