Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The No. 5 Gators downed Ole Miss in straight sets 25-19, 25-22, 25-12 Friday evening in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in the first of two matches this weekend which open Florida’s 2015 Southeastern Conference schedule.
The Gators improved to 9-1 on the season as Florida improved to 40-0 all-time against the Rebels (14-2) under head coach Mary Wise. UF posted 11 blocks to Ole Miss’ two and held the Rebels’ offense to a .112 hitting efficiency.
Senior setter Mackenzie Dagostino put up her fifth double-double of the season with 37 assists and 12 digs, while sophomore middle Rhamat Alhassan paced Florida with a .526 clip, 12 kills and six blocks for a team-high 16.0 points. Junior right side Alex Holston joined Alhassan in double-digit kills with 10, while senior libero Nikki O’Rourke posted 19 digs in a stellar defensive effort.
While the Gators and Rebels went toe-to-toe in the first and second sets, which featured seven ties each and five and four lead changes, respectively, Florida emerged out of the locker room energetic in the third and final set. The Orange and Blue capitalized on a seven-point serving run under sophomore defensive specialist Sam Dubiel to open an 8-1 lead the Gators wouldn’t relinquish in a 25-12 third-set win.
Next up, No. 5 Florida and No. 24 Kentucky will clash in a top-25 match Sunday in Gainesville on the SEC Network at 1 p.m.
“The key number that jumps out would be the hitting efficiency that our defense held Ole Miss to. That’s a team that has won 10 straight, and you can see why with all the talent that they have on the court.”
BY THE NUMBERS
450 | Wins at home in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in program history with Friday’s sweep against Ole Miss. UF overall home record: 450-62 (.879)
40 | The Gators are now an undefeated 40-0 against the Rebels under head coach Mary Wise
11 | Blocks for the Gators. UF had 11 blocks to Ole Miss two, making seven straight double-digit blocking matches for Florida as a team
12 | Matches this season the Gators have held their opponent under a .200 hitting efficiency with Ole Miss’ .112 clip Friday night
5 | Sweeps for Florida in 2015 (James Madison, Oregon, San Diego State, St. John’s, Ole Miss)
2 | Service aces for sophomore outside hitter Carli Snyder, a new career high. Snyder had half of Florida’s four service aces, compared to Ole Miss’ one
Florida will play its second SEC home match against No. 24 Kentucky Sunday. First serve between the Gators and Wildcats is slated for 1 p.m. on the SEC Network, with Tiffany Greene and Missy Whittemore on the call. The Gators are 3-1 this season against top-25 opponents. Sunday’s tilt will mark UF’s first ranked SEC opponent this season. In the UF-Kentucky series, Florida has won five straight and nine of the last 10 match-ups between the two squads.