Written by Shauni Lynch
The Florida Gators thrived at the Carolina Volleyball Center Wednesday night after defeating the Gamecocks with a 3-1 decision. Sophomore right side Alex Holston led the Florida offense with 19 kills and an overall 23 points, while senior defensive specialist Maddy Monserez dominated the defense with a season best 18 digs as the No. 8 Gators put the eighth notch in their winning streak, and continued to be undefeated in Conference play.
After falling short to the Gamecocks (13-5, 3-3 SEC) in the first set, the Gators rallied back with 25-18 second set and a 25-13 third set win. Closing out the fourth set, Florida topped the Gamecocks 25-19.
With a team hit of .226, junior outside hitter Ziva Recek had a career high game with 12 kills, 13 points (4.5 in the second set), and hit .357 for the game. Florida held South Carolina to only four blocks while the Gators hit double digits with 10, four of which came from freshman middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan and another four from junior setter Mackenzie Dagostino.
“The story of the season has been on any give night, any one of our players can step up and be difference makers,” head coach Mary Wise said. “Tonight it was Živa Recek. She, along with Maddy Monserez and Alex Holston, led our team, but we got great production by a lot of people. That’s the only way we beat a team that played this well in this environment.”
To continue another streak, Florida limited South Carolina to .119, making this the 11th opponent this season that hasn’t reached above a .197 hitting efficiency. The Gators also had zero reception errors for the third time in SEC play and the fifth time this season.
The No. 8 Gators will return to a matchup Sunday, Oct. 19 in the O’Dome against Arkansas. Florida holds a 35-2 record against the Razorbacks and an undefeated 15-0 record at home.