The Florida Gators resumed SEC regular season play Friday night. The team hosted the Auburn Tigers at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators were outperformed on their home court and took their third loss of the season as they were swept by SEC foe Auburn.
In the opening set of the match. The Gators wasted no time getting the offense cooking. Kennedy Martin and AC Fitzpatrick led the as they both recorded kills early in set one. Kennedy Muff had a well-executed tip over the net that gave UF a 7-5 lead.
The Gators were able to hold their momentum until Auburn tied things at 14 apiece. Florida gained a one-point advantage after the following point to lead 15-14 heading to a media timeout.
The first set remained intense and competitive as the teams virtually traded point-for point. Anna Dixon posted her first kill of the match combined with a pair of attack errors from Auburn to give the Gators a 19-18 edge.
The Tigers would bounce back to knot the score at 20-20 after a kill by Kendal Kemp. Auburn took control after the score was even to go on a 5-3 run to win set one 25-23.
Auburn carried their momentum into the second set as they gained a 6-2 advantage early on. The Tigers continued to apply the pressure as they extended their lead to 10-5.
The Tigers offense in set two was a versatile attack that included kills from Madison Scheer, Akasha Anderson and Kemp. Florida head coach Mary Wise was forced to call a timeout as she began to see the set slip away as her team trailed 19-14. Back-to-back kills by Anderson and Scheer slammed the door on Florida as AU was able to cruise to a 25-20 victory in the second set.
The Gators were facing a sweep after falling behind 2-0 in the match. UF needed to flip the switch. However, they did anything but that to start the third set. The Gators once again found themselves with an early 9-4 deficit.
Sofia Victoria carried the load offensively for the Gators in the third set. She tallied three kills in five points to shrink the Auburn lead to 12-10. The Tigers would not let the score get any closer than that after a kill by Bel Zimmerman put them back ahead 19-14.
Florida was not able to put together a comeback as Auburn completed the sweep 3-0.
Florida was led offensively by Martin with 12 kills and Victoria with 8. Kennedy Muff dished out a team-high 28 assists.
Defensively, Elli McKissock led the Gators in the backcourt with 10 kills and Nnedi Okammor tallied two blocks.
Florida will have a quick turnaround as they prepare to host Alabama on Sunday afternoon. First serve will be at 1 p.m. from Exactech arena in Gainesville, Florida.