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UF Volleyball: Record Blocking Day Leads Florida Over Alabama

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

The Gators recorded 19.5 blocks – a rally-scoring era record for the most blocks in a three-set match

Behind a program-record blocking day, the No. 4 Florida volleyball team improved to 4-0 after sweeping Alabama on Saturday afternoon to close out the series with the Crimson Tide.

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Florida won the first set in a close 25-21 battle and followed with a 25-17 victory in the second frame. The Gators closed out the match with a 25-22 victory in the third.

UF’s blocking game was the deciding factor in the victory, with the team recording 19.5 blocks on the afternoon. That number is the highest total in a three-set match in program history and is the ninth best total overall in the rally-scoring era.

Lauren Dooley led the way with 10.0 blocks, just two shy of her career-best. That mark is the fifth-best total in a three-set match in the rally-scoring era. Marlie Monserez and Nnedi Okammor each posted a career-high nine blocks in the match as well.

UF stifled Alabama’s offensive game overall, holding the Crimson Tide to a .095 clip on the night.

T’ara Ceasar led the team offensively, posting 15 kills and a .344 clip on the afternoon. Thayer Hall also recorded double-digit kills, finishing with 11.

Marlie Monserez captained the Florida offense on Saturday afternoon, dishing out 28 assists.

Paula Cerame led the defense in the backcourt, posting a season-high 12 digs. Elli McKissock and Monserez each pitched in eight digs on the afternoon, while Ceasar added seven.

The Gators have come upon their scheduled bye week, but will return for the second half of the fall season on Nov. 11 at South Carolina.

Records
No. 4 Florida (4-0, 4-0 SEC)
Alabama (0-4, 0-4 SEC)

How It Happened

  *   The blocking game was strong to start the first set for Florida, with the Gators notching three blocks within the first seven points scored, forcing an Alabama timeout. Out of the break, the Crimson Tide went on a 10-5 run to tie it all up at 13-13. The Gators pulled ahead at 18-14, yet Alabama continued to battle, getting back to within one at 20-19. UF closed out the set on a 5-2 run, capitalized with a Haley Warner kill to secure the frame.
     *   Florida held Alabama to a .020 clip in the first frame, recording eight team blocks. Nnedi Okammor tied her career-high in the first set alone, recording five blocks. Lauren Dooley posted three, while Thayer Hall, Marlie Monserez, and Holly Carlton each pitched in two in the set.
  *   To begin the second frame, neither team had larger than a one-point advantage until the Gators strung together a 4-0 run to take the 15-11 lead into the media timeout. Florida continued to roll out of the break, going ahead six points at 20-14, forcing a timeout from the Crimson Tide. Alabama pulled to within five at 21-16, but Florida closed out the frame on a 4-1 run to go up 2-0 in the match.
     *   The Gators hit .394 in the second frame and held Alabama to a .108 clip. Hall notched six kills in the set, while Ceasar and Warner pitched in three kills apiece.
  *   Florida came out battling in the third set, holding at least a two-point advantage over Alabama after the 5-3 mark. UF’s lead continued to grow, with the Gators taking a six-point lead at 20-14, but the Crimson Tide went on an 8-3 run to pull within one at 23-22. Florida halted the run and secured the match with back-to-back kills from Ceasar and Monserez.
     *   Florida hit .308 in the third set, led by five kills from Ceasar. Hall followed with four of her own, while four Gators each pitched in one.

Notables

  *   The 19.5 blocks were a rally-scoring era program record for a three-set match
  *   Dooley recorded 10.0 blocks, a season-high mark
  *   Monserez and Okammor each registered a career-high nine blocks in the match
  *   The last time a Florida player recorded at least 10 blocks in a match was on Oct. 11, 2019, when Lauren Dooley recorded 12.0 against Arkansas
  *   The Gators keep their undefeated record against the Crimson Tide, moving to 49-0 all-time
  *   Florida improves to 45-0 in three-set matches against Alabama
  *   UF is now 25-0 against Alabama in Gainesville, Fla.
  *   The Gators capped off a perfect October, going 4-0 during the first month of play

Thoughts from Coach Wise

  *   “On a night where we weren’t as sharp offensively, our defense – specifically our blocking – carried us. This was a great growing opportunity for our team.”

Up Next

  *   The Gators are on a bye through next week but return to action for a two-match series with South Carolina on Nov. 11 and 12
  *   First serve for Nov. 11 is slated for 8 p.m. on the SEC Network, while the Nov. 12 match will begin at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network +