The Florida volleyball team is now 9-1 in SEC play after narrowly dropping a 5-set battle at home to the Missouri Tigers. Florida won a whopping fourteen consecutive matches since falling to Northern Arizona on September 7th.
The Gators were in a four-point hole at the media timeout, with Mizzou up 15-11. After the break, Florida fought back hard and led 19-17, due in part to five kills. This set was plagued with errors for the Gators, specifically nine on the attack and three service. Mizzou went on an 8-4 run to take the set.
Florida finished with a respectable fourteen kills, but hit just .116. Mia Sokolowski made five kills and birthday girl Paige Hammons followed with three.
The Gators came back with a vengeance in this frame, winning 25-16. Allie Monserez started things off right, racking up five points serving. Thayer Hall added a three-point service run as well, bringing the score up to 18-7 late in the set. Florida tacked on five kills and two monster blocks to tie it up 1-1 heading into set three.
The Gators hit a .545 team clip, tying the fourteen kills in set one. Rachael Kramer contributed four and Holly Carlton and Sokolowski managed three apiece. Taelor Kellum threw down five of the team blocks.
Missouri jumped out 8-3 early on, but Florida battled back to tie it up 12-12. The Tigers clawed their way up to a 23-17 advantage, making it difficult for the Gators to stage a comeback. Missouri rounded out the set with two kills.
Florida logged just seven kills overall, with Thayer Hall and Paige Hammons combining for four of them.
Set four was all Gators, as the team took control at 15-7. Florida had some hard hits (5 kills), but Mizzou’s errors ran amok, committing eight before the media timeout. The Gators went on to win the set 25-13.
The team created eleven kill opportunities and had themselves a block party (7). Carlton put on a show, notching three kills and three blocks. Kramer and Kellum also recorded three blocks each.
Set five was a thriller, with Florida having a 5-0 advantage to start the frame. The Tigers, though, were unfazed, and ended up tying it 11-11. At the end of the set, both teams were tied 15-15, forcing the winner to have to make two extra points. Mizzou got the advantage 16-15, then took the match on a Gator attack error.
The players left it all out on the court, hitting .318 behind three kills from Carlton and two each from Hall and Kramer.
Many of the Gators put on their best performances in the loss.
Taelor Kellum broke her career-high blocks record of 12, making 13 against Missouri. Holly Carlton posted a season-high eight blocks, and Thayer Hall recorded a career-high of seven.
Hall also left the O’Dome with a double-double (10 kills, 12 digs), along with Allie Monserez (23 assists, 11 digs).
Florida will get a weeklong break, hitting the road Sunday for a match against Mississippi State.