Fall Sports

Honda of Gainesville Gator Invitational Recap: Day 1

Photo by Kristen Oliff / ChompTalk.com

The Florida Gators returned to winning ways in Day 1 of the Honda of Gainesville Gator Invitational against South Florida and James Madison.

Prior to the start of the invitational, the Gators had lost two straight matches in straight sets. They lost to No. 1 Stanford in their home opener, then lost on the road at No. 8 Minnesota.

Vs. USF

It took the Gators four sets to pick up their first win of the day against USF. The final score of the match was 25-22, 25-20, 19-25, 25-13. While the team performed well, Kramer left early due to injury. She would not play in the Gators’ second match of the day.

Stats

Thayer Hall once again led all Gators in kills with 14, followed by Holly Carlton with 11.

Florida’s Paige Hammons racked up four aces in the match; half of the total amount of aces the Gators registered overall.

USF’s leaders were Jac St. Cin and Lindsey Pliapol. Each registered 12 kills to lead their team, followed by Jac’cara Walker with nine. CC Clausen had the most digs in the match with 15.

With that win, Mary Wise is now 17-0 against USF.

Vs. JMU

The Gators continued their momentum into the second and final match of the day against JMU. They defeated the guests in straight sets (25-19, 25-11, 25-17) and improved to 4-2 on the season.

Hall was the only player on the court to manage double-digit kills (10). Carlton was right behind her with nine.

Lauren Dooley made a major impact filling in for Kramer. Against JMU, Dooley put up six blocks to lead the game. Overall, the Gators finished with 14. For context, against USF with one extra set played, the Gators had 12.

Post-Match Thoughts

“I thought Lauren Dooley was a game-changer tonight, just bringing a nice calm presence and just making really big plays at the net.” -Holly Carlton

“We’re definitely starting to play like the Gators and establish who we’re going to be in 2019.” -Thayer Hall

“I thought the team showed a whole lot of grit in how they played and sustained their efforts and focus throughout all three sets with a quick turnaround against a senior-laden, experienced team.” -Mary Wise on the JMU match

Day 2

On Saturday, the Gators will wrap up the Honda of Gainesville Gator Invitational with their third and final match against Long Beach State. The match will begin at 5 p.m.

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