Photo by Kristen Oliff /

The No. 12 Florida Gators swept the Alabama State Hornets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday evening in Exactech Arena.

Florida managed the victory without sophomore outside hitter Thayer Hall making an appearance. She leads the team in kills.

How it Happened

Redshirt junior Mia Sokolowski stepped up in Hall’s absence. She was one of two Gators to reach the 10-kill mark on the night, doing so on 19 swings with just one error for a .421 hitting percentage.

Paige Hammons also reached 10 kills. It took her 23 swings and three errors for a clip of .304.

Match Recap

Set 1 was pure domination from the Gators. They never trailed and reached 25 points before the Hornets could get past 10.

Set 2 was a different story. Although the final score (25-16) makes it seem like it was another straightforward frame, the Hornets led for a decent amount of time. Their biggest lead was 11-7, but everything changed with the Hornets ahead 15-14. Florida rallied to take nine straight points and eventually closed out the set.

The third set was another tight affair. This time, however, the Gators led the majority of the frame and held on to secure the sweep with a 25-20 final score.

Notable Performances

Rachael Kramer and Allie Gregory led the team defensively. Kramer picked up the most blocks on the night with three. Gregory dug up the most attacks with 17 digs. The second-highest digs leader had eight.

What’s Next?

The Gators’ next test comes against the UCF Knights. The Knights defeated the Florida State Seminoles in the round of 64 in Exactech Arena before Florida’s match began.

As a result, the Knights and Gators will face off in the second round of the tournament. First serve is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.For more of the latest, follow @ChompTalk and @JEricksonReport on Twitter.