Florida Gators volleyball defeats Auburn

Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:

AUBURN, Ala. – Fifth-year senior Shainah Joseph led the way, but the No. 4 Gators (16-1, 8-1 SEC) had five players with at least eight kills in their four-set win at Auburn Sunday.

Joseph notched a match-high 13 kills, the second-highest output of her career. The Canadian also hit an impressive .632-which topped her career high (minimum 15 attempts)-committing only one error on 19 attempts.

Sophomore middle blocker Rachael Kramer continued her impressive weekend with 12 kills and a .476 hitting percentage, while Carli Snyder (nine), Paige Hammons (nine) and Rhamat Alhassan (eight) all reached the eight-kill mark. All four, as well as Joseph, finished with at least 11 points.

Redshirt junior setter Allie Monserez stabilized the Gators’ offense with 41 assists, tying the season high she set in a five-set win over Nebraska (Aug. 26) earlier this year. That distribution helped Florida to a .336 hitting percentage, which was its third-highest clip of the season.

Alhassan also made an impact defensively, tallying seven block assists to tie Benavia Jenkins’ (2000-03) school record for career block assists (502).

Along the backline, senior libero Caroline Knop amassed a match-high 18 digs, while Snyder chipped in 16.

NOTABLES

*        Shainah Joseph recorded double-digit kills for the fourth time in her career and for the third time this season

*        Joseph also finished with a match-high 14.5 points, marking the ninth time in her career and fifth time this season she totaled at least 10 points.

*        Rachael Kramer has double-digit kills in nine matches this year, already well ahead of the five she had as a freshman last season

*        Carli Snyder recorded three service aces (all in the first set) for a fourth time in her career and this season

*        Rhamat Alhassan finished with five-plus blocks for the 13th time this year

*        Paige Hammons nine kills tied the second-highest total of her career

*        The Gators recorded double-digit blocks for a sixth consecutive match and for the 14th time in 17 matches this year

*        Florida has held 15 of its 17 opponents under a .185 hitting percentage this year

*        Florida improved its overall record against Auburn to 46-2, and to 42-1 under head coach Mary Wise

(COACH) WISE’S WORDS

Head coach Mary Wise’s overall thoughts on the match…

“What a great response to Friday night’s performance by Allie Monserez and Shainah Joseph. Neither player had their best performance Friday night. They saved it for today, on a day when we really needed it. Those two were terrific. This is a very good serving team that serves great at home. I thought our team weathered the storm.

Wise on what it does for the team when Joseph is efficient and dangerous offensively…

“What it does is opens things up more for Rachael Kramer, if you can imagine that. When we are getting point production from that position (right side) it makes it easier on the other hitters. Credit Allie and Shainah.

Wise on sticking with Monserez the majority of the day instead of the two-setter offense…

“We were a little disjointed offensively and thought if we could get some rhythm to the offense that might help. We asked Allie to do something we haven’t asked her to do much this year, and she responded like the veteran she is.

Wise on Kramer’s weekend as a whole…

“She just keeps getting better and adding new wrinkles to the offense. She’s becoming such a complete player so early in her career.”

UP NEXT

Florida returns home for a Friday matchup with South Carolina, which will be the “Dig Pink” match. The Gators will travel to Mississippi State next Sunday as well.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.