Florida Gators volleyball defeats Tennessee at home

Special report on Florida Gators volleyball team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – There was a (block) party in Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, and the Gators celebrated it to the tune of yet another defensive victory, sweeping Tennessee in their first match since 2010 as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team.

Florida now boasts a 28-2 all-time record as the No. 1 team in the nation.

The Gators tallied 13 blocks, their second-highest total this year. Only their 16.5 blocks in a four-set win over Lipscomb topped Friday (Sept. 29) night’s performance. The last time Florida posted at least 13 blocks in a three-set match was Nov. 20, 2015 at LSU (14 blocks).

Sophomore setter Cheyenne Huskey led all players with eight blocks, highlighted by three solo efforts. Three-time All-American middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan added six blocks, and sophomore middle blocker Rachael Kramer swatted four.

With her first block of the match, which came at the 20-15 point in the opening set, Alhassan passed Jenni Patterson (1986-89) for the second-most total blocks in school history (540). Alhassan’s career total now sits at 546, trailing only Benavia Jenkins’ (2000-03) school record of 601.

The defensive efforts of seniors Caroline Knop (15 digs) and Carli Snyder (12 digs), along with the strong blocking, enabled the Gators to hold Tennessee to a .098 hitting percentage. It is the third time this year Florida held an opponent under a .100 clip.

Snyder and the Gators were also strong behind the service line, logging six aces. Snyder smashed two of them to win the match’s final two points, while redshirt junior setter Allie Monserez added a pair, and Alhassan and freshman Paige Hammons had one apiece.

NOTABLES

* Four different Gators had a service ace, and they combined for six aces, matching the second-highest total of the season for a second consecutive outing

* The Gators recorded 10-plus blocks for the eighth time this season, and it’s the third time this year they had at least 12

* Florida’s 57 digs were its highest total in a three-set match this season

* Rachael Kramer recorded double-digit kills for the fifth time this season, and eighth time in her last 13 matches

* Kramer also hit above .525 with at least 14 attacks for a fourth time this season and sixth time in her last 13 matches

* Shainah Joseph recorded a career-high seven digs

* Joseph also hit over .425 with at least nine attacks for the fourth time this season

* Rhamat Alhassan has 49 kills in the Gators’ last four matches

* The Gators have never lost a match during the regular season as the nation’s No. 1 team (23-0 record)

* Florida improved its all-time record against Tennessee to 49-12, along with a 45-7 mark under head coach Mary Wise

NEXT UP

Florida continues its four-match homestand Sunday (Oct. 1). First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET, and SEC Network will televise the action. Tom Collett and Josh Crow will have the radio call on ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM 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.