Fall Sports

Sweet Sixteen Bound: Gators sweep UCF; Advance in NCAA Tournament

Photo by Kristen Oliff / ChompTalk.com

The Florida Gators are still dancing.

The 12th-ranked Gators picked up their second sweep of the NCAA Tournament in Exactech Arena Thursday evening (25-21, 25-18, 25-17), this time against the Knights of Central Florida.

For the second-straight match, the Gators were without kills-leader Thayer Hall. Florida’s staff is hopeful that she will be ready for the next match.

Senior Leadership

It wasn’t as easy for Florida as it may sound. In the first set, the Knights had a 20-17 lead down the stretch. That’s when Gator head coach Mary Wise called a timeout.

In the resulting huddle, Allie Gregory said that the seniors decided that the Gators “weren’t going to lose tonight.”

After the break, Florida put together a 9-1 run to take the first set 25-21. From that point forward, the Gators never trailed, except at 1-0 in the second frame.

Stat Leaders

Not only did Gregory and her fellow seniors lead off the court, but also on it. Senior middle blocker Rachael Kramer picked up 15 kills on 21 swings, only bested by Paige Hammons‘ 16. Additionally, Kramer co-led the team in blocks with three. Lauren Dooley also contributed with three blocks.

Gregory continued her high-volume-dig matches with another 17 to lead the team.

Junior setter Marlie Monserez averaged 13 assists per set with a total of 39.

As a team, the Gators hit .380 through the three frames. Kramer showed the highest level of consistency with a .667 clip on the night.

Sweet 16 Schedule

With the win over UCF, the Gators will face the winners of Minnesota and Creighton, which is Saturday at 8 p.m.

The Gators faced Minnesota on Sept. 7 of this season. Florida fell in straight sets in Minneapolis. The Gators have not faced Creighton this season.

For a look at the full NCAA Tournament bracket, click here.

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