The Gators cruised past Florida A&M Thursday night at the O’Connell Center to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This marks UF’s fifth sweep victory over FAMU in the first round of the tournament since the turn of the century. In 31 seasons under head coach Mary Wise, Florida has never lost its opening-round NCAA Tournament match. The victory also marked Wise’s 1,000 career win — a milestone set by no other female coach in Division I women’s volleyball history.

In the opening set, the Gators proved their dominace as they quickly built a 19-6 lead before freshman Merritt Beason served an ace and landed her fourth kill of the set to clinch a decisive 25-11 victory.

Florida served a season-high 12 aces courtesy of six different players. Beason and freshman Trinity Adams led the team with three each. Seniors Thayer Hall and Marlie Monserez added a pair of their own aces and sophomores Elli McKissock and Birdie Hendrickson each served one.

The Gators hit over .400 in each of the first two sets and held their opponent to a negative hitting percentage (.026) for the first match since their season opener against San Francisco.

Sophomore outside hitter Sofia Victoria led Florida with 13 kills — her first match notching double-digit kills since September — on 27 attempts (.333). Victoria displayed her grit as she added seven digs and recorded her first two career solo blocks.

Box Score

Florida A&M: 11-14-8

No. 21 Florida: 25-25-25

Individual Stat Leaders

Aces

  • Beason/Adams: 3
  • Hall: 2

Kills

  • Victoria: 13
  • Hall: 11
  • Kelley: 6

Assists

  • Monserez: 38
  • McKissock: 2
  • Hall: 1

Digs

  • Hall: 9
  • McKissock: 8
  • Victoria: 7

Blocks

  • Kelley/Beason/Forte: 3

Next Up

The Gators will return to the O’Connell Center Friday night to face No. 24 Miami. The Hurricanes finished the regular season 24-4 and third in the ACC before they knocked off South Alabama in four sets in their opening-round match Thursday.

The Gators and Canes have only met twice historically, and both matches were played in Gainesville. On both occasions — once in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and again in 2017 — Florida prevailed in four sets. Friday’s match will start at 7 p.m. and air on ESPN+.

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