- No. 1 Florida def. Texas A&M 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 25-27, 25-10)
- Florida moves to 12-0, 4-0 SEC; Texas A&M falls to 4-7, 1-3 SEC
- Gainesville, Florida
- Attendance: 2,023
- Box Score
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 1 Gators boosted their all-time regular-season record as the nation’s top ranked team to 25-0, edging out Texas A&M in four sets Wednesday night. The victory also made head coach Mary Wise the all-time winningest female head coach in Division I volleyball with 887 victories.
The Gators outdid the Aggies in all areas of the match, topping them 63-43 in kills, 10-6 in aces, 12-3 in blocks and .295 to .170 in hitting efficiency. Florida finally hit its stride in Set 4, hitting at a.583 clip with 14 kills in 24 errorless swings.
Senior outside hitter Carli Snyder was tops among Florida players in kills with 16, while also adding eight digs, three blocks and two aces. Redshirt senior outside Shainah Joseph notched 15 kills, while hitting at a team-best .481 clip and adding four blocks, while senior middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan added 12 kills, five blocks and two aces. Sophomore middle Rachael Kramer put up a team-leading seven blocks, while also registering nine kills. Senior libero Caroline Knop managed a team-best 20 digs, followed by freshman outside Paige Hammons (12) and redshirt junior setter Allie Monserez (10). Monserez finished off a doubeldouble with 31 assists and two aces.
Sophomore outside Hollann Hans (12) and senior outside Kiara McGee (10) reached double-digit kill tallies for Texas A&M. Freshman setter Camille Conner and freshman outside Samantha Sanders added seven apiece. Conner hit at a team-best .357 clip, while also chipping in nine digs, 29 asssists and two blocks. Senior libero Amy Nettles posted 14 digs to lead the Aggies in the backcourt.
Four players chipped in kills an Alhassan added an ace as Florida took a 9-5 lead in Set 1. A trio of Kramer putaways pushed the margin to five at 14-9, but Texas A&M scored seven in a row, three on Gator errors and two on Kaitlyn Blake kills, to go up 16-14. Florida scored seven of the next 10 to turn the deficit into a 21-19 lead. Two Snyder kills and two Hammons aces gave UF the lead. The Aggies did not go quiety, however, taking a 22-21 lead on a Hans kill. The Gators responded with a 5-2 run to close out the set, which ended on a setting miscue.
The teams played to a 6-all tie in Set 2, before Florida pulled away with an 8-4 run. Three Snyder kills and two Aggie errors aided the Gators in taking the 14-10 lead. Texas A&M used three McGee kills and two by Hans to knot the score at 19 all. The teams then traded 3-0 runs, leading to a 22-22 tie. UF got a block and a kill by Alhassan in the final 3-1 run of the 25-23 win.
Set 3 featured 17 tie scores and six lead changes. Neither team led by more than two until the later stages, when a pair of Gator miscues put Texas A&M on top 22-19. Down 23-20, Florida scored five of the next six points, thwarting an Aggie set-point try at 24-22. A stuff by Kramer and Snyder gave the Gators a match-point try at 25-24, but a McGee kill stopped UF and a pair of hitting errors gave Texas A&M the 27-25 win and extended the match.
The Gators flexed their offensive muscles in the final stanza, hitting at a .583 clip, while Texas A&M hit at a paltry .038 clip with seven kills and six errors. Florida scored eight in a row to turn a 6-5 lead into a 14-5 advantage. Three kills and a block by Joseph and a Monserez ace gave the Gators the nine-point edge. The Aggies managed a pair of kills, but UF answered with a 6-1 run to push ahead by 12 at 20-8. Two more Joseph kills and a Snyder ace aided the effort. Up 21-10, Florida closed out the victory with a 4-0 run, including a kill and a block by Alhassan. A setting error accounted for the final point.
A hard fought 4⃣ set win full of diving saves, lots of offense and grit! All the highlights from tonight's close match! ???? pic.twitter.com/RNQA1wVrjN
— Gators Volleyball (@GatorsVB) October 5, 2017
Courtesy: Florida Athletics
It was a struggle much of the night, but the top-ranked Gators hit their stride in the fourth set to halt Texas A&M’s upset bid. Florida improved to 12-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play with the win.
Wednesday (Oct. 4) also marked the 887th victory of Mary Wise’s 31-year head coaching career, surpassing BYU legend Elaine Michaelis (1969-2001) for the most all-time wins by a female head coach in Division I history. Wise’s win also moved her past Michaelis for the eighth-most wins in Division I history and 14th-most wins in NCAA history (all three divisions).
Despite 20 errors, the Gators hit .295 on the match. They also tied their season high with 10 service aces, three of which came from freshman outside hitter Paige Hammons.
Senior outside hitter Carli Snyder logged a match-high 16 kills and 19.5 points, but fifth-year senior right side Shainah Joseph starred for Florida’s offense. Joseph hit .481, posting a career-high 15 kills and just two errors on 27 attacks.
Three-time All-American Rhamat Alhassan added 12 kills, two service aces and five blocks. Defensively, senior libero Caroline Knop led the way with 20 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Rachael Kramer had a season-high seven blocks.
A dramatic first set featured nine ties and four lead changes, the last of which came after Florida ripped off a 5-2 run and erased a 22-21 deficit to win, 26-24. Set two saw seven tie scores, but the Gators won three of the final four points to take the frame, 25-23. The third set saw the Gators commit 10 errors, leading to a 27-25 setback, despite a gritty rally that washed away a 23-20 deficit. Florida returned to form in the fourth, though, winning the set, 25-10, with an absurd .583 hitting percentage (14 kills, zero errors, 27 attacks).
- Florida has held 11 of its first 12 opponents under a .185 hitting percentage
- The Gators totaled 12 blocks for the fourth time in their last six matches, and reached double-figures for the ninth time this year
- Shainah Joseph hit above .385 with at least 20 attacks for the first time in her collegiate career
- Joseph hit over .425 with at least nine attacks for the sixth time this year
- Joseph’s previous career high for kills was 12 in a four-set win over UCF on Sept. 21, 2014
- Joseph’s previous career high for points (16) also came in that match (she had 17 Wednesday)
- Allie Monserez posted 31 assists and 10 digs for her second double-double of the season
- Cheyenne Huskey tallied a career-high five kills
- The Gators have never lost a match during the regular season as the nation’s No. 1 team (25-0 record) and boast a 30-2 all-time record at No. 1
- Florida improved its all-time record against Texas A&M to 13-1, along with a 11-1 mark under head coach Mary Wise
- Florida’s 12-0 start is the fourth-longest winning streak to open a season in school history, trailing 16-0 starts in 1987 and 2007, as well as the 28-0 start to the 1995 campaign
Florida concludes its four-match homestand Sunday (Oct. 8) against Georgia. SEC Network + will stream the match via Watch ESPN, and a radio broadcast will air on ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM. First serve in the O’Dome is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET.
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
Texas A&M gave top-ranked Florida a scare as the first three sets were decided by the minimum two points, but the Gators remained the only undefeated team in the nation after pulling away for a 26-24, 25-23, 25-27, 25-10 victory tonight at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Florida improves to 12-0 overall, including 4-0 in Southeastern Conference matches. Texas A&M, facing its fifth opponent ranked in the top six in the nation, falls to 4-7 overall and 1-3 in SEC matches.
In the opening frame, the Gators took their largest lead at 14-9 before a Florida ball handling error sent Amy Houser to the service line for the Aggies. The defensive specialist brought the Aggies back, getting two aces and forcing the Gators’ offense out of system during a 7-0 scoring run that put Texas A&M up, 16-14. Florida later regained the lead at 18-17, but a kill by Aggie freshman opposite hitter Samantha Sanders knotted the score. The Gators got back-to-back kills and continued to hold a two-point cushion at 21-19 when A&M senior outside hitter Kiara McGee ended a long rally with a kill. Florida’s Carli Snyder hit long on the next play, and Aggie sophomore outside hitter Hollann Hans followed with a backrow roll shot that fell in for a kill to tie the score, 22-22. The Gators called a timeout and came back with three unanswered points to go up, 24-22, but then served into the net at set point. A&M fought off another set point as Hans got another kill from the back row to tie the score for the ninth time. Florida regained the lead, 25-24, on a kill by Snyder and A&M was unable to attack a tight pass to the net, giving the Gators the 26-24 win.
A&M pushed the Gators to the brink again in the second set. Florida had built its largest lead at 14-10 when the Aggies began a comeback, outscoring the Gators, 7-3, and tying the score at 17-17 on a block by freshman setter Camille Connerand junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Blake. The score was tied two more times as the teams exchanged points. Rhamat Alhassan then gave the Gators the lead, 20-21 with a kill and A&M was unable to counter and lost a challenge on a no-touch call on Hans’ attack that landed long. The Gators went up 22-19, forcing A&M to call a timeout, but the Aggies came back with three unanswered points, including a kill off the block by Hans that tied the score for the seventh time.
Florida called its second timeout and came back with a kill and a block to be at set point, 24-23. A&M stayed alive and fought off one set points as Florida’s serve sailed long, but Alhassan closed out the 25-23 win with a kill.
The teams continued to battle in the third set as there were 16 ties and six lead changes. Neither team held more than a three-point lead throughout the frame. A&M took its largest lead at 22-19 as Florida committed a service error and an attack error. The Aggies maintained the three-point margin at 23-20, but Florida cut the lead to 23-22 with a kill and a block. Hans then brushed a kill of the Florida block to put the Aggies at set point, but the Gators racked back, scoring three consecutive points to regain the lead, 25-24. McGee answered with a kill and Florida hit out on its next two attacks to give A&M the 27-25 win, marking the first time the Aggies won a set in Gainesville since 1988, when A&M suffered a 3-1 loss in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Florida ran away with the fourth set. The Gators held a 6-5 edge before using an 8-0 run to pull away. Florida, which outhit A&M .583 to .038, continued to widen the gap and used a 4-0 run to close out the match.
Hans led A&M 12 kills and McGee added 10. Senior libero Amy Nettles finished with a team-high 14 digs, giving her 1,254 for her career, moving into ninth place in the A&M career records. Houser tied her career-high with three aces.
Florida, which outhit A&M .295 to .170 for the match and led in blocks, 12-3, had three players post double-digit kills, including Snyder who led all players with 16 kill.
The Aggies return to Reed Arena on Sunday to play host to Mississippi State. First serve is at 1:30 p.m. It is Take a Kid to the Game, and up to four kids can get in free with the purchase of one adult ticket. It also is Volleyball Camper Reunion Day, and all returning campers and their friends and family receive free admission. Kids Court, with inflatables, crafts, balloon animals and more, will be going on in the volleyball practice gym prior to the match.
Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.
TEXAS A&M POSTMATCH QUOTES:
HEAD COACH LAURIE CORBELLI
“This was one of the best starts we have had. I thought the first two sets, we had every opportunity to win. Six aces to four errors is maybe one of the best serving nights we have had. That’s really, really exciting. The execution kind of broke down in our serving and passing in set four. We kind of backed off a little bit. I know they didn’t mean to, but we started to back off and allow them to attack wherever they wanted. We backed off with our serving. I think they also came at us hard with their serve, and our passing started to break down as well. It all starts with those two skills, and any team that starts to let that slip gets into trouble, and we let it slip.”
On what the team learned from the match…
“I know they are aware that we aren’t finishing well enough. When we have leads, when we have great opportunities, we’ve got a couple little details that are breaking down and we have got to identify them and fix them fast. They are very fixable. So I think if anything it’s the awareness that they need to be fixed and the motivation to go into the gym and get it fixed. They are disappointed in the result. I think they recognize that they did some really good things and can play some really high quality volleyball. We just have to raise our level when it’s on the line, or at least keep ourselves at the same level, and not let things break down.”
“I thought Amy Nettles had a phenomenal night, not only with passing and defense, but her leadership. She was consistently keeping everyone inspired and focused. She was giving instruction, and giving encouragement. It was really fun to watch her lead tonight. I thought Camille Conner also did a beautiful job. For us to start three freshman versus their four or five seniors…our freshmen could have very easily just come in and froze but they didn’t. They just really fought through that, including Camille. She’s got ice in her veins. It seems like nothing really upsets her or flusters her. I loved the game she played tonight. I thought she did a really beautiful job.”