Gabrielle Essix celebrates after a point in the Gator volleyball team's win over VCU on Saturday. Photo from Sydney Calle.

Gator Volleyball Sweeps LSU

The number 21 Florida volleyball team (15-7) took down LSU (10-13) in straight sets Friday night in a convincing home win. The Gators snap their three game losing streak (Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky) with the win that ends their four-game home stint at Exactech Arena.

Gators Dominant From the Start

Florida took control out of the gate with a 25-17 win in the first set. AC Fitzpatrick and Gabbi Essix got the defense going early, clogging up the outside and scoring off the block. Kennedy Martin brought in the offensive output.

The defensive side of the ball was the strong point for Florida as usual. In the three-set match the Gators put up 11.5 blocks including six from Nnedi Okammor and five for both Kennedy Martin and Gabbi Essix. The Tigers were held to a hitting percentage of only .178 on the game. They found some success by going through the middle in the second set, but it didn’t last long as the Gator blockers were able to adapt.

On the other side of the ball, the Gators had 41 kills on the game including 15 from Martin. Florida hit at a .305 clip and were able to keep LSU on their toes by switching hitting on the outside, middle and from the back row throughout the game.


Fight of the Freshmen

A highlight of this match up was the duel between two of the top freshmen in the SEC, Kennedy Martin and Jurnee Robinson. Florida’s Kennedy Martin currently leads the SEC in kills per set with 4.21, but LSU’s Robinson is not close behind with 3.96. Both players have been on the watchlist for Freshman of the Year and are frontrunners to take home the award.

Martin got the better of Robinson in this one notching 15 kills on a .357 clip along with five blocks. Robinson still led the Tigers with eight kills but was limited to a hitting percentage of -.037. The Florida defense made sure to shadow Robinson and had her struggling to break through.

It should be a good race in the rest of the season, but with Martin already leading in kills per set and now putting in a good performance against Robinson, she looks like the favorite.

Tests Ahead for Florida

With only five games remaining in their regular season schedule, the Gators are going to have to prove their worth to compete towards the top of the SEC. Two of those remaining games are rematches against Arkansas and Kentucky who are both ahead of Florida in the SEC standings. Those are important games for the Gators to round out the season.

The Gators go on the road for their next game against Alabama. The game is set for Sunday, November 12 at 5 pm. You can catch the game on the SEC Network +.

About Nick Abreu

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