Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:
ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 16 Florida Gators swept the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Friday night in The Venue during the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida (27-6) moves to 25-5 in second round matches and 14-14 in neutral site matches.
The Gators are moving on to the Regional Semifinal round for the 24th time in 29 trips to the tournament – all 24 coming under Mary Wise.
UF took the first set, 25-17, then followed with a 25-13 win in the second frame. The Gators were then able to close out the match with a 25-17 win in the final set.
Florida hit .356 as a squad, the sixth-best percentage this season. Paige Hammons led the offense on Friday night, posting 14 kills on the night. Holly Carlton followed with nine of her own and Rachael Kramer pitched in seven.
Allie Monserez dished a team-leading 20 assists – her 30th time leading the Gators in that category this season. Marlie Monserez also added 16 assists on the evening.
Allie Gregory led the backcourt defense for Florida, posting 16 digs on the evening. That was her 29th time leading the Gators in digs this season. Paige Hammons followed with eight of her own and Paula Cerame added seven.
As a squad, the Gators notched 7.0 blocks, led by a team-best five by both Holly Carlton and Taelor Kellum.
The Gators now await to see how the bracket plays out in the remainder of the first and second round matches to see where they travel for the Regional Semifinal.
How it Happened
– The Gators quickly got down 7-4 in the first set, but battled their way out of the deficit, tying the frame at 7-7. The teams continued to trade points throughout the middle of the set, but Florida pulled ahead 22-14 behind the serves of Paula Cerame. UF held on the remainder of the set to go up 1-0.
o Florida hit .455 in the first frame and held the Eagles to a .067 hit clip. Rachael Kramer and Paige Hammons both pitched in four kills, while Thayer Hall added three.
– UF was in control of set 2 from the start, jumping out to a 16-7 lead. The lead continued to grow for the Gators, who took advantage of 12 FGCU errors in the frame. Florida closed out the set on a 9-6 run, winning 25-13 to go up 2-0 in the match.
o The Gators hit .500 in the match and once again held FGCU to under a .100 hit clip (.074). Paige Hammons recorded four kills in the frame, while Holly Carlton added three.
– The Gators took control in the early going of the set, taking a 10-6 lead. Florida continued to hold onto at least a three-point lead the rest of the way and went up big on a 6-0 run behind the serves of Allie Monserez to secure the match.
o Florida hit .239 in the final set, racking up 16 kills along the way. Paige Hammons posted six kills in the frame, followed by five from Holly Carlton.
– Paige Hammons recorded 14 kills in the match – this is the ninth time she has led the team in kills this season
– Allie Monserez led the team in assists for the 30th match this season
– Allie Gregory led the team in digs for the 29th time this season
– The Gators improve to 2-0 against FGCU
– Florida improves to 2-0 against FGCU in three-set matches
– Florida is now 74-28 in the NCAA Tournament in program history
– UF also holds a 73-27 record in the Tournament under Mary Wise
– The Gators are moving on to the Regional Semifinal round for the 24th time in the 29 seasons in the NCAA Tournament
– Florida moves to 25-5 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
– UF improves to 14-14 in neutral site matches
– The Gators are now 13-2 in three-set matches this season
Thoughts from Coach Wise
On if she was surprised on Gator Nation traveling so well
– “After Friday and Sunday matches, when we’re on the floor doing autographs, we are meeting people from all over the state. Maybe there were many Gators fans that did not have to travel that far. This is a great venue for volleyball – the size of it. Credit Gator Nation for the atmosphere this evening.”
Middle Blocker Rachael Kramer
– “This crowd was great – it honestly felt like a home match. You look around and just see Orange & Blue throughout the entire stadium. I cannot thank Gator Nation enough for them to come down all the way to Orlando. That is what pushed us over the edge this weekend – their support was incredible.”
Setter Allie Monserez
– “Having our band here was great. We get to hear all of the chants going, it brings a familiar feeling. It was really awesome.”
– The Gators now await for the remainder of the first and second round matches to complete to see where they will travel for the Regional Semifinal
– If all seeds hold, the Gators will head to Provo, Utah to compete at BYU