Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:
PALO ALTO, Calif. – The No. 8 Florida volleyball team took down the second-ranked team in the nation on Tuesday night, defeating the Stanford Cardinal in straight sets.
The Gators improve to 3-0 for the fourth-straight season and the 27th time in program history with the victory tonight.
This is the seventh victory for Florida over a Top-2 team in program history, with the last sweep against a Top-2 team being Sept. 7, 2002 against No. 1 Stanford.
The Gators took the first set 25-17 to open up the match, then won a thrilling 29-27 victory in the second to take the 2-0 lead. Florida claimed the match with a come-from-behind 25-23 win in the final frame.
Florida’s offensive attack was led by Kennedy Martin for the third-straight match, with the freshman right side tallying 16 kills with a 394 clip. Sofia Victoria and Kira Hutson each added nine kills in the victory, while middles Gabrielle Essix and Anna Dixon posted five apiece.
Sophomore setter Alexis Stucky led the squad to a .324 clip in the three-setter, dishing out 34 assists.
Martin and Dixon recorded four and two blocks, respectively in the win.
The backcourt defense was led by Stucky’s 12 digs – her first double-double of the season and sixth of her career. Elli McKissock and Trinity Adams each followed with eight digs apiece, while Emily Canaan added five.
Behind the service line, Martin (2), Canaan (1) and Adams (1) each registered at least one ace.
The Gators open the home portion of their 2023 schedule with another Top-10 matchup on Sunday, taking on the No. 5-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers. First serve is slated for 12 p.m. on ESPNU.
No. 8 Florida (3-0)
No. 2 Stanford (2-1)
How It Happened
- The Cardinal took the early 4-2 lead in the first set, but the Gators went on a 4-0 run behind the serves of Canaan to take the two-point advantage. The teams continued to trade points, but Florida strung together a 4-0 run to grab the 15-11 lead heading into the media timeout. Out of the break, the Gators continued to hold the Cardinal at a distance, with Stanford getting no closer than three points the rest of the way. Florida went on for the 25-19 win to take the early match lead.
- The Gators totaled 10 kills in the first frame, led by three from Martin. Victoria and Dixon each added two in the set, while McKissock posted four digs.
- The second frame was another battle between the two teams, with neither squad holding more than a two-point lead through the majority of the set. Following the media timeout, Stanford went up three at 19-16, but the Gators used a 3-0 run behind the arm of Martin to knot the set at 19-all. It was back-and-forth from that point on, with UF having to win in extras 29-27. Florida found itself facing Stanford’s set point twice, but back-to-back-back kills from Huston (2) and Martin (1), secured the win to put the Gators up 2-0.
- The second set saw 18 ties and six lead changes, with Florida hitting .375. Martin posted eight kills, while Huston (6) and Victoria (4) combined for 10.
- Once again, the third set was a tough fight between both teams, with the largest lead being three on both sides. The Cardinal went on a 3-0 run leading into the media timeout, taking a 15-12 advantage into the break. The Gators chipped away, eventually tying the set at 17-all. With the teams trading points late, Florida was able to use a 3-1 one to secure the sweep and move to 3-0 on the year.
- UF hit .324 in the final frame, led by Martin’s five kills.
- Florida claimed its seventh victory over a Top-2 team in program history and the second sweep over a Top-2 team
- The only other sweep the Gators have had over a Top-2 team was against No. 1 Stanford on Sept. 7, 2002 in Gainesville
- The Gators begin the 2023 campaign with a 3-0 record for the fourth-straight year and 27th season overall
- Alexis Stucky posted her first double-double of the season with 34 assists and 12 digs
- That was the sixth double-double of her career
- Florida improves to 6-9 in the series against Stanford
- The Gators move to 3-3 in three-set matches against the Cardinal
- Florida is 1-0 in three-set matches this season
- The Gators improve to 3-2 against Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.
- UF finishes the month of August with a 3-0 record
Thoughts from Coach Wise
- “There were so many contributions to this victory – whether it was Trinity Adams play in the back row or Kennedy Martin’s play in the front row. To beat a team of this caliber on the road, this is what it takes.”
- The Gators open the 2023 home schedule against No. 5 Minnesota on Sunday
- First serve is slated for 12 p.m. on ESPNU
- The match can also be heard on the airways on ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM/850 AM