- No. 9 Florida def. Auburn 3-1, (25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14)
- Florida improves to 25-3, 15-2 SEC, Auburn falls to 15-15, 9-8 SEC
- Hosted by Florida
Courtesy of Florida Athletics
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Following Wednesday (Nov. 23) night’s 3-1 victory over Auburn, the No. 9 Gators are now one win away from clinching a share of the program’s 22nd SEC title.
Florida travels to Arkansas on Saturday (Nov. 26), and a win there will assure the Gators no worse than a share of the league title. With Kentucky’s loss in its season finale Wednesday night, Florida can clinch the conference title outright with a win and a Missouri loss. Missouri concludes its regular season against Tennessee on Saturday night.
Although the Gators’ high-octane offense struggled for much of the evening, their defense returned to form, holding Auburn to a .163 clip and totaling 12 blocks. Prior to Wednesday night, UF had gone six straight matches without double-digit blocks.
Junior All-American middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan, who tallied a team-high 16.5 points, led UF’s defensive effort with 10 blocks. Three-time All-American right side Alex Holston added three, as did redshirt sophomore setter Allie Monserez.
Both Alhassan and junior outside hitter Carli Snyder logged double-doubles, finishing with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Snyder added 11 digs to her 20th double-digit-kill match of the year.
The Gators also got a standout defensive performance along the backline from junior libero Caroline Knop, who amassed 25 digs.
No. 9 Florida: 25-3, 15-2 SEC
Auburn: 15-15, 9-8 SEC
NOTABLES AND TRENDS
- Tonight marked just the fourth time this season the Gators hit below .240, and prior to tonight’s win it was 1-2 in such matches, with its victory coming at No. 13 Florida State back on Sep. 14
- Florida has held 20 of its 28 opponents this season below a .200 clip, and it is undefeated in such matches
- Rhamat Alhassan joined Texas A&M’s Jazzmin Babers as the only other SEC player this season with multiple matches of 10-plus kills and 10-plus blocks
- Alhassan is the first Gator since Benavia Jenkins (2000) to record multiple matches of 10-plus kills and 10-plus blocks in the same season
- Tonight was Alhassan’s sixth career match with 10-plus kills and 10-plus blocks, as she now has two in each of her three seasons as a Gator
- Prior to Alhassan’s six performances, no Gator since Sherri Williams (2004) had recorded such a double-double
- Carli Snyder tallied a career-high three service aces
- Alex Holston led the Gators in kills for the 13th time this season, finishing with 13
QUOTES FROM THE GATORS
Head coach Mary Wise on the team’s change of mindset after splitting the first two sets…
“I think the third set we benefitted from (Auburn’s) service errors. We didn’t earn them. We said before the fourth set that we have to earn this. It just felt like we were steps behind blocking all night, until we finally got in rhythm. The very first place of that (fourth) set was a stuff block by Alex (Holston) and Rhamat (Alhassan). For Rhamat, 10 blocks is a really good night of work.”
Coach Wise on traveling to Arkansas to try and clinch a share of the SEC title…
“This is usually how it goes—we play teams late that are playing their best volleyball. It’s a quick turnaround and a huge challenge for our team. But there’s a lot to play for.”
Junior outside hitter Carli Snyder on what the team discussed during the set break with the match tied at 1-1…
“We just talked about controlling our side of the net … stick to our game plan and stick to what we know we can do.”
Snyder on the implications of Saturday’s Arkansas match…
“We definitely have a lot we are playing for, and we knew that going into these last two matches. We weren’t looking ahead in any way. Now we can focus on Arkansas and give them our best shot. They’re a great team, so I know we are going to come out and play for an SEC championship.”
The Gators will conclude their regular season Saturday (Nov. 26) afternoon at Arkansas.
First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, and the match will be streamed live via SEC Network +. Fans can also listen to the match on ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM / 850 AM, with Tom Collett on the call.
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Courtesy of Auburn Athletics
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Auburn volleyball team pushed the No. 9 Florida Gators all night, but came up short in a tough 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14) loss Wednesday night at the Lemerand Center Gymnasium.
The loss moved Auburn to 15-15 overall and 9-8 in Southeastern Conference play.
Senior Breanna Barksdale put together the best performance of her career, recording her first-ever double-double. The San Diego product set a career high with 11 blocks and tied a season best with 13 kills to lead the Tigers.
Junior Macy Reece chipped in 10 kills, while Brenna McIlroy had nine and Gwyn Jones had eight. Junior setter Alexa Filley finished with 42 assists in the match and junior libero Jesse Earl led the team with 19 digs. Freshman Enija Bidzane added seven kills for Auburn.
A trio of Gators (25-3, 15-2) had double-digit kills with Alex Holston’s 13 leading the way. Rhamat Alhassan finished with 11 kills and 10 blocks and Carli Snyder had 10 kills and 11 digs. Libero Caroline Knop had a match-high 25 digs for Florida.
Florida jumped ahead 5-2 in the first, but a pair of kills from Bidzane and two more from Filley put the Tigers up 6-5. A Jones kill and a McIlroy/Barksdale block gave Auburn a two-point advantage at 10-8 and another kill for McIlroy made it 12-10. The Gators responded with a run to go ahead at 14-12 and then pushed to an 18-15 lead. The home squad went on to take the set, 25-21.
Great serving from Earl and tough Auburn defense put the Tigers ahead at 5-1 and a kill for McIlroy pushed Auburn to a 10-5 advantage in set two. A tough blocking presence by Barksdale guided the Tigers to a 14-7 lead and a kill by the senior made it 17-11 Auburn. Florida errors lifted the Tigers to a 23-14 lead and another McIlroy kill gave Auburn set point, 24-16. The Gators battled and held off Auburn with a 6-0 run, but Filley sealed the set with a kill, 25-22.
The third stanza had the Gators take an early 4-2 lead before a kill from Bidzane and a Gator error tied the set at 4-all. The teams exchanged points and a kill from Bidzane kept it locked, 12-12. Florida pushed a rally and sent the teams to the media timeout with a 15-12 lead. The home team held its advantage throughout the rest of the set and won the third, 25-19.
The Gators came out in set four firing and used a five-point run to go ahead 8-3. Florida used another lengthy run to go up 15-6 and the Gators took the match with a 25-14 win.
The Tigers close out 2016 at home Saturday, Nov. 26, with a 12:30 p.m. CT match vs. Texas A&M. Auburn and the Aggies will face off in Auburn Arena and the Tigers will honor its seniors prior to the match.