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UF Volleyball: Florida Tops LSU in Straight Sets

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY KATIE CALLAHAN

The ninth-ranked Gators opened the spring home season with a sweep of the Tigers

Box Score

The ninth-ranked Florida volleyball team swept the LSU Tigers on Wednesday evening in Exactech Arena.

Florida moves to 9-2 in this conference-only 2020-21 format, while LSU drops to 3-6 on the year.

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The Gators took the first set 27-25 after a highly-contested battle with the Tigers, then followed with a decisive 25-15 victory in the second frame. Florida closed out the match with a 28-26 win in the final set.

UF once again had a very well-balanced attack offensively, with T’ara Ceasar leading the charge with 14 kills. Holly Carlton added 10 kills of her own on 18 swings for a .444 clip.

Thayer Hall and Lauren Forte each tallied eight kills apiece on the night – a season-best for Forte, the Cal-Berkeley transfer.

Marlie Monserez dished out 39 assists in the three-set match, averaging 13.00 assists per set.

As a team, the Gators notched 11.0 blocks, led by six from Lauren Dooley. Forte pitched in a season-high five blocks of her own, while Carlton and Monserez each posted four on the evening.

Elli McKissock was all over the backcourt, recording a career-high 24 digs in the three-set match. That number is the third-highest total in a three-set match at Florida in the rally-scoring era. Monserez added eight digs on the night, while Ceasar posted seven.

Carlton and McKissock each recorded two service aces on the night, leading the way behind the service line.

The Gators are right back in action on Thursday to close out the series with the Tigers. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. on the SEC Network + and can be heard on FloridaGators.com.

Records
No. 9 Florida (9-2, 9-2 SEC)
LSU (3-6, 3-6 SEC)

How It Happened

  *   The first set was a back-and-forth battle from the start, with the Gators grabbing the slight edge of 15-12 going into the media timeout. Out of that break, Florida went up six on the Tigers at 18-12, but LSU continued to chip away, eventually tying the frame 24-24. Florida fell behind 25-24, but two points from Ceasar and an LSU error sealed the set for Florida at 27-25.
     *   As a team, the Gators hit .278 in the first frame, led by five kills from Ceasar. Dooley added four of her own, while Carlton tallied three in the set. Monserez dished out 15 assists, while McKissock totaled five digs.
  *   With the second set tied 6-6, the Gators opened up a 4-0 run behind the serves of McKissock to force an LSU timeout. Out of the break, Florida continued to roll, going up 19-11 over the Tigers. LSU would get within six points at 21-15, but Florida closed out the frame with a 4-0 run behind the serves of McKissock.
     *   Florida hit .370 in the second frame, while holding LSU to a -.086 clip. Forte, Carlton, and Monserez each pitched in three kills apiece in the frame.
  *   The Gators went on a 5-0 run early behind the serves of Riley Fischer to take the 7-5 lead against the Tigers. From that point on, the match was a back-and-forth battle, with neither team leading by more than three points until the 24-20 mark. With the Gators up 24-20, LSU went on a 6-1 run to take the 26-25 advantage, putting Florida on the ropes. The Gators answered with a Forte block and back-to-back kills from Ceasar and Hall to secure the victory.
     *   Florida held LSU to a .109 clip in the final frame, while Ceasar posted eight kills in the third. Hall and Carlton both recorded four kills in the set, while Monserez dished out 17 assists in the frame.

Notables

  *   Elli McKissock recorded a career-high 24 digs in the match, which is the third-highest total for a three-set match in program history
  *   Lauren Forte recorded a season-high eight kills and five blocks
  *   The Gators improve to 47-13 against LSU in the all-time series, including a 44-5 record under Mary Wise
  *   Florida moves to 29-7 in three-set matches against the Tigers in program history
  *   UF improves to 24-5 against LSU in Gainesville, Fla.
  *   The Gators are now 8-0 in three-set matches in the 2020-21 campaign

Thoughts from Coach Wise

“There were lots of good performances, but certainly the play of Elli McKissock stands out. We battled tonight against a young LSU team that never stops fighting.”

Up Next

  *   The Gators and the Tigers return to action on Thursday for a 6 p.m. matchup
  *   The second and final match of the series will air on SEC Network + and can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch

No. 9 Florida vs. LSU – Broadcast Information – Thursday, Feb. 11
Time: 6 p.m.
Live Stream: SEC Network +
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Radio: FloridaGators.com

Series Information – No. 9 Florida vs. LSU Tigers | 3-6 overall; 3-6 SEC

  *   This is the 61st meeting between the Gators and the Tigers
  *   Florida leads 47-13 (44-5 under Mary Wise)
  *   3-set: 29-7 | 4-set: 14-6 | 5-set: 4-0
  *   Home: 24-5 | Away: 20-6 | Neutral: 4-0
  *   Last Time Out: Feb. 10, 2021 | Gainesville, Fla. | W, 3-0 (27-25, 25-15, 28-26)

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