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UF Volleyball: Gators Secure Comeback Victory over Missouri Tigers

Photo by Courtney Culbreath

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY KATIE CALLAHAN

Four Gators recorded double-doubles as Florida battled back from 0-2

The seventh-ranked Florida volleyball squad fought all the way back from being down 0-2 to secure the five-set thriller over the 25th-ranked Missouri Tigers.

The Gators extend their win streak to 10 matches and improve to 15-2 on the year, while Missouri drops to 11-6 in the SEC-only format.

The Tigers took the first two tightly-contested sets by a score of 25-23 before Florida answered with a 25-19 victory in the third. The Gators won 27-25 in the fourth to force a deciding fifth set. Florida found itself down 13-10 in the final frame but closed the frame on a 5-0 run to secure the victory.

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Three Gators finished with double-digit kills, led by 24 apiece from outsides T’ara Ceasar and Thayer Hall. Ceasar posted a .364 clip, while Hall registered a .426 clip with just four errors.

The last time Florida had two players score 20+ kills in a match was Nov. 3, 2013, when Chloe Mann and Alex Holston went for 22 and 21 against Texas A&M.

Holly Carlton finished the afternoon with 12 kills, while Lauren Forte added a season-best nine.

Marlie Monserez anchored Florida’s offense to a .344 clip overall and dished out 56 assists in the match. Elli McKissock added a career-high 13 assists in the five-setter.

As a team, the Gators notched 15.0 blocks at the net, led by six from Lauren Dooley. Forte and Hall each added five apiece, while Monserez and Carlton tallied three each.

Monserez led the backcourt defense for Florida, registering a career-high 20 digs on the afternoon for her seventh double-double of the year. McKissock posted 15 digs of her own to secure her first double-double of the season.

Ceasar added 12 digs on the afternoon for her seventh double-double as well, while Hall clinched her second double-double with 11 digs in the match.

Florida recorded six service aces, led by Paige Hammons, who tied her career-best with four on the afternoon.

The Gators close out the series with Missouri on Saturday, with first serve slated for 4 p.m. The match will be aired on the SEC Network + and can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch.

Records
No. 7 Florida (15-2, 15-2 SEC)
No. 25 Missouri (11-6, 11-6 SEC)

How It Happened

  *   Missouri hopped out to the early 13-6 lead in the first set, forcing Florida to use its first timeout. The Gators did not bow out, going on a 13-7 run to pull within one at 20-19 – forcing a Missouri timeout. Florida kept within a point at 24-23, but the Tigers were able to secure the set with a kill to go up 1-0 in the match.
     *   The Gators hit .324 in the frame with 17 kills, led by seven from Ceasar. Hall added four, while Carlton posted three of her own.
  *   The Tigers once again jumped out to an early lead in the second set, taking the 10-6 lead. The Gators battled back out of the hole, tying the frame at 12-12. Missouri put some distance between itself and Florida, taking the 24-19 lead late. The Gators answered with a 4-0 run to pull within one at 24-23, but Missouri secured the frame with a kill to go up 2-0 in the match.
     *   Ceasar posted a team-best five kills in the frame, while Hall added four. As a team, Florida notched five blocks, led by two apiece from Forte and Dooley.
  *   The third set started with the teams trading points, but with the frame knotted at 11, the Gators exploded for an 8-0 run behind the serves of Hammons to take control of the set. The Tigers inched their way back within five points at 24-19, but a kill from Forte secured the frame for Florida.
     *   Florida hit .433 in the third set, while holding Missouri to a .152 clip. Hall notched six kills in the frame, while Forte and Ceasar added four apiece.
  *   The fourth set was another tightly-contested one, with neither team holding more than a two-point lead until the Gators pulled ahead three at 23-20. Missouri dug its way out of the hole, tying the frame at 24-24. Back-to-back kills from Florida’s outsides Ceasar and Hall secured the 27-25 victory to tie the match 2-2.
     *   The Gators hit .371 in the frame, led by seven kills from Ceasar. Carlton added four, while Hall pitched in three to secure the set and force a deciding fifth frame.
  *   The fifth set was a back-and-forth battle from the start, but Missouri looked as if the match was secured after the squad went up 13-10 late. The Gators answered with a 5-0 run behind the serves of McKissock to surpass the Tigers and claim the hard-fought match.
     *   Florida hit .304 in the final frame, led by seven kills from Hall and seven digs from Monserez.

Notables

  *   The last time Florida had two players score 20+ kills in a match was Nov. 3, 2013, when Chloe Mann and Alex Holston went for 22 and 21 against Texas A&M
  *   Four Gators notched double-doubles in the match:
     *   T’ara Ceasar recorded her seventh of the season with 24 kills and 12 digs
     *   Thayer Hall recorded her second of the season with 24 kills and 11 digs
     *   Marlie Monserez recorded her seventh of the season with 56 assists and 20 digs
     *   Elli McKissock recorded the first of her career with 15 digs and 13 assists
  *   Paige Hammons tied her career-high in service aces, recording four on the afternoon
  *   With her four service aces, Hammons brings her total to 115, putting her within two of Top-15 in program history
  *   Marlie Monserez recorded a career-high 20 digs in the match
  *   Elli McKissock recorded a career-high 13 assists in the match
  *   The last time the Gators had four players in double-digit digs was Nov. 21, 2020, against Georgia
  *   The Gators improve to 9-5 against Missouri in the all-time series
  *   Florida moves to 2-3 in five-set matches against Missouri
  *   The Gators improve to 5-2 against the Tigers in Gainesville, Fla.
  *   Florida is 1-0 against teams ranked in the AVCA Top-25 Poll
  *   UF moves to 1-1 in five-set matches this season

Thoughts from Coach Wise

  *   “Today felt like an NCAA match with two teams going after it. Missouri played so well that we are a better team having had this opportunity to compete against them.”

Up Next

  *   The Gators return right back to the court on Saturday to close out the series with the 25th-ranked Tigers
  *   First serve is slated 4 p.m. on the SEC Network +
  *   The match can also be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch