Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

The Gators women’s volleyball team has been firing on all cylinders so far in 2023. The team traveled to Stanford, California Tuesday night to take on the second-ranked team in the country. Florida, who was ranked No. 8 heading into the matchup, took down the Cardinal in three-straight sets.

In the opening set of the match, the Gators looked sharp as they cruised to a 25-17 victory. During a thrilling second set, Stanford pushed UF to a win-by-two scenario that led to a 29-27 win for Florida. Then, the Gators used their momentum to close out the match with a 25-23 victory in the final set.

For the fourth season in a row, UF has a 3-0 record to start the year. The win marked the seventh time in the history of the program that they have knocked up a Top-2 team in the nation.

Kennedy Martin continues to be the stand out performer for the Gators. After earning AVCA Division I player of the week honors a week ago, the freshman put on another elite performance. Martin tallied 16 kills and 4 blocks on the match. Adding two aces to the stat sheet as well. She has now led the team in kills in all three of their matches to date.

Kira Hutson and Sofia Victoria also provided positive contributions on the offensive end. The two outside hitters both totaled nine kills during Tuesday’s contest. Middle hitters, Gabrielle Essix and Anna Dixon, also chipped in with five kills each.

The leading blockers for the match were Kennedy Martin with four, and Dixon with two. Alexis Stucky also put her defensive talents on display, totaling 12 digs. On offense, Stucky dished out 34 assists, good for a .324 clip. The sophomore’s double-double marks the sixth of her career and first in 2023.

Ellie McKissock and Trinity Adams both made their presence felt on defense as well. The teammates contributed eight digs apiece during the match against No. 2 Stanford. The backcourt continues to look like a strength as the Gators get their season on the way.

After two-straight road trips for the team, the Gators will return to Gainesville to prepare for their first home match of the year. Another top-10 matchup is slated for Sunday, as No. 5 Minnesota goes on the road to battle No. 8 Florida. First serve will be at 12 p.m. on ESPNU, from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

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