The Florida volleyball team played just its third 5-set match of the season on Friday against Texas A&M. But, unlike the first two matches that went to five, the Gators left the court as winners. Texas A&M was the team’s first SEC opponent that was not swept in straight sets.
The Gators managed to win the first two sets, despite close calls by a strong Aggies team. Florida took the first set relatively handily, winning 25-18.
Florida started off strong, hitting .600 off of 14 kills. However, Texas A&M showed that they would be a formidable opponent. At one point, Florida led 17-6, before winning by a margin of just seven. UF closed out the frame with three kills and a block to secure the victory.
In set 2, it was a little closer, with a score of 25-22.
The Gators recorded 14 kills again, but hit just .238 in the frame. This set was a back-and-forth battle until the bitter end. With the score tied 22-22, the Gators went on a three-point run to close it out, thanks to kills from Holly Carlton and Thayer Hall.
After that, it got a little bumpy for Florida. Texas A&M answered with two set wins of their own. In set 3, the Aggies made it to 25 first, leaving the Gators in their tracks with 21 points.
At one point, the score was tied 15-15. Then, the Aggies went on a 7-1 run. Florida was never able to come back. The Gators hit a measly .143.
Set 4 was another 25-22er, but this time Texas A&M came out on top, forcing the dreaded fifth set.
The Gators led 9-4 early in the fourth set, but Texas A&M chipped away at the deficit to tie the frame at 11-11. The latter half of the set was back-and-forth between the two teams, with neither squad holding more than a three-point lead. With the set tied 22-22, Texas A&M went on a 3-0 run to force a deciding fifth set.
In the nailbiting last set, Florida brought its clip up, hitting .333. The Gators won by just 1 point, with a score of 11-10. But, two Aggie errors secured the fifth straight conference win for the Gators.
In the end, Florida improves to 14-3 on the season, while the Aggies drop to 10-6.
Holly Carlton, who has been showing out as of late, led the team with fourteen kills. Carlton also had herself a block party tonight, with a game-high of 7.
Once again, Allie Gregory was the digs leader, diving for 20 throughout the night. And you can bet that Allie Monserez made the most assists on the night, as usual, with 33. So far this season, there has yet to be a match without a Monserez leading in assists. (Either Allie or her sister, freshman Marlie).
On Sunday, the Gators will host the Georgia Bulldogs in the Exactech Arena. Tipoff is set for 1 PM.