Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

The Florida Gators volleyball team is off to a historic start to their season. The Gators defeated Winthrop on Saturday afternoon in three-straight sets. They moved their record to 7-0 for only the seventh time in program history. Florida, who was ranked No. 3 heading into the weekend, hosted the Gainesville Invitational and kept their record perfect on the year.

The Gators started hot in the first set of the match. Kennedy Martin led the way for Florida with three kills while four of her teammates chipped in one apiece. Florida jumped out to an early 9-3 lead and never looked back as they cruised to a 25-12 victory in the first set. Trinity Adams went on a 6-0 service run which provided a huge spark for the team.

Moving to the second set, the Gators were once again executing on offense and defense early in the set. After the Florida lead increased to 9-3, the Eagles kept the set competitive when fell behind by two in a 16-14 deficit. However, the Gators were too much to handle. Following a timeout, they created their largest lead of the set when they grasped a 24-16 advantage. Winthrop would end the run and make things competitive before Florida took the 2-0 match lead. The team was led by AC Fitzpatrick with five kills in the set while Martin had four of her own.

In the third and final set, Florida kept their foot on the gas. Although Winthrop kept things competitive early at 5-5, the Gators would later pull away. Florida won the set 25-15 after another impressive run after a timeout that resulted in a 7-3 run.

The Gators offense was firing on all cylinders as Fitzpatrick led the match with 11 kills and Martin followed her with 10. Anna Dixon also got herself into the mix of things with six kills of her own. Martin and Adams each had two aces apiece on the night while Alexis Stuckey had one as well.

Stuckey also had another impressive performance from the setter position. She dished out 26 assists while being the catalyst for the offense.

On the defensive side of the net, Martin led the Gators with five blocks while Nnedi Okkamor chipped in four of her own. Elli McKissock led all players on the court in digs with 12.

Following the win over Winthrop, Florida’s competition does not get any easier. The team will travel to Tallahassee to face rival Florida State. The matchup will be this Wednesday with first serve slated for 6 p.m. on the ACC Network.

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