The Florida volleyball team has done it again! After outlasting Texas A&M in five sets on Friday, the Georgia Bulldogs took the Gators the distance with the same result. Florida remains undefeated in conference play this late in the season for the 22nd time under Coach Mary Wise.
The Gators started strong, leading Georgia 10-1 at the beginning of the first frame. However, the Bulldogs began to catch up, albeit slightly, closing the gap to 15-8. Florida secured the set handily after a 10-5 run, winning 25-13. Overall, the team hit .292, holding Georgia to a -.147, after the Bulldogs committed a whopping 13 errors.
This set was much, much tighter. After the demoralizing first set, Georgia came back swinging, leading the Gators 20-14 toward the end of the frame. Despite Florida cutting the deficit to just three points (24-21), Georgia was able to capitalize on their one-point opportunity and take the set. Taelor Kellum recorded six blocks, which were the only Gator blocks in the frame.
Georgia was able to build off the momentum and jumped out against the Gators in the beginning of the set for a 13-6 advantage. Florida fought back hard, coming within two points twice (15-13, 23-21), but the early Bulldog lead was too much to overcome. The Gators posted a .268 clip and 15 kills.
Down 2-1 in the match, the Gators needed to cook with some gas to close out with the dub. Georgia made an effort, tying 12-12 at one point. But seven kills and four blocks from Florida forced the team’s second five-setter in two games.
The Gators were the first to get to 15, but it was up in the air until the halfway point as both teams were tied 7-7. Then, the Gators went on an offensive flurry behind 5’4″ Chanelle Hargreaves five-point service run. Thayer Hall and Holly Carlton were able to put the final nails in the coffin with two kills for the team’s eleventh straight win.
Three Gators ended the match with a double-double: Allie Monserez (29 assists, 11 digs), Paige Hammons (13 kills, 13 digs), and Thayer Hall (11 kills, 11 digs).
Kellum led the team (and broke a career-high) with 12 blocks in the match. Kellum’s 12 blocks contributed to the team’s overall 20… the most amount of Florida blocks since 2004. The two Allies on the team (Monserez and Gregory) both posted 13 digs. Monserez came up with another team-high. She (29) and her sister Marlie (19) combined for 48 assists.
The Gators will head to Columbia for a Friday night match against South Carolina. Florida is currently 15-3 (6-0 SEC). The Gamecocks are 14-2 (5-1 SEC). South Carolina has shut out three conference opponents (LSU, Alabama, Miss. St), topped Texas A&M in four sets, and Georgia in five.