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UF Volleyball: Gators Drop Four-Setter to Bulldogs

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY KATIE CALLAHAN

Thayer Hall and T’ara Ceasar combined for 27 kills on the evening

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 The fifth-ranked Florida volleyball team fell to the Georgia Bulldogs in four sets on Friday night in Exactech Arena.

The Gators move to 5-2 on the year, while Georgia improved to 4-3 this fall.

Georgia took the first two sets, winning the first 25-21 before taking the second 25-18. Florida fought back to win the third frame 25-19, but the Bulldogs clinched the first match of the series with a 25-23 win in the fourth.

The Gators were led on the offensive front by Thayer Hall, who tallied 14 kills on the night. T’ara Ceasar followed with 13 kills of her own, while Holly Carlton pitched in nine kills in the four-setter.

Marlie Monserez anchored the offense for Florida, dishing out 33 assists in the match.

As a squad, the Gators recorded 14.0 blocks, with Lauren Dooley leading the way with eight. Nnedi Okammor added six of her own, while Carlton pitched in four.

Elli McKissock led the backcourt defense for the Gators, recording a career-high 20 digs on the night. Monserez posted her third double-double of the season, recording 12 digs to go along with her 33 assists. Paula Cerame rounded out the Gators in double-digit digs, registering 11 digs in the match.

The Gators close out the fall portion of the 2020 schedule on Saturday, finishing the two-match series with Georgia at 5 p.m. in Exactech Arena. The match will air on the SEC Network +.

Records
No. 5 Florida (5-2, 5-2 SEC)
Georgia (4-3, 4-3 SEC)

How It Happened

  *   After Georgia scored the first point of the set, Florida went on a 6-0 run behind the serves of Thayer Hall to force a Bulldog timeout. The Gators continued to hold the advantage over the Bulldogs, but Georgia chipped away, pulling to within two at 17-15 to force a UF timeout. Out of the break, Georgia went on a 10-4 run to take the first set.
     *   Ceasar, Okammor and Hall each posted three kills in the first frame while Carlton added two. McKissock posted 10 digs in the first set alone, just two off her career-best.
  *   The second set was a back-and-forth affair, with the two squads trading points until the 10-10 mark. UGA went on a 3-0 run, pulling ahead 13-10, forcing a Florida timeout. The Bulldogs would not trail from that point on, pulling ahead six at 21-15. The Gators strung together a 3-0 run to cut the deficit to three at 21-18, but Georgia closed out on a 4-0 run of its own to go up 2-0 in the match.
     *   Hall (4) and Ceasar (3) combined for seven kills in the frame, while McKissock posted five digs in the frame, pushing her to 15 for the match – a new career-high.
  *   Florida controlled all the momentum to begin the third set, forcing Georgia to use both of its timeouts by the 16-11 mark. Georgia went on a 4-0 run out of its second timeout, pulling to within one, but the Gators continued to distance themselves, going up five points at 23-18. UF closed out the third frame on a block from Ceasar and Okammor to force a fourth set.
     *   Hall and Carlton both recorded four kills in a set where the squad hit .346. Monserez posted 10 assists in the frame, while Okammor recorded five blocks.
  *   With the fourth set tied 6-6, Monserez led the Gators on a 5-0 run behind the service line to take the 11-6 lead. Florida continued to hold at least a two-point advantage over the Bulldogs, but at the 15-13 mark, Georgia went on an 8-2 run, taking the 21-17 lead. Florida pulled back ahead at 23-22 after two consecutive Ceasar kills, but the Bulldogs closed out the match on a 3-0 run.
     *   Ceasar led the way with six kills in the fourth set, followed by four from Dooley and three from Hall. As a team, Florida hit .308 in the final set and collected three blocks.

Notables

  *   Elli McKissock recorded a career-high 20, surpassing her previous career-best 12
  *   Marlie Monserez posted her third double-double of the season, finishing with 33 assists and 11 digs
  *   The Gators are now 66-10 against the Bulldogs
  *   Florida drops to 14-3 in four-set matches against Georgia
  *   UF is now 30-3 against UGA in Gainesville, Fla.

Up Next

  *   The Gators return to Exactech Arena on Saturday for the finale of the 2020 fall season
  *   Florida and Georgia are slated to face off at 5 p.m. on the SEC Network +