Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For the second time in three days, the No. 3 Florida volleyball team completed a fifth-set comeback, this time defeating the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday night.
The Gators improve to 10-1 on the season and 2-0 in SEC play, while Georgia falls to 9-4 on the year and 0-1 in league games. Florida moves to 2-0 in league play for the 30th season since 1991.
UF grabbed the first set 25-22 after not leading until the 19-18 mark, but Georgia responded with a tightly-contested 25-22 victory in the second set. UGA took the 2-1 match lead after another 25-22 win in the third, but Florida answered with a 25-23 victory in the fourth to go to its third-straight five-set match. The Gators came back from down 6-2 to win the fifth frame 15-11 and move to 10-1.
Senior Sofia Victoria led the offensive attack on the night, posting a team-high 16 kills. Kennedy Martin and AC Fitzpatrick each recorded double-digit kills, tallying 11 and 10, respectively.
Fifth year setter Kennedy Muff dished out 38 assists, to go along with 12 digs, six kills and five blocks. Elli McKissock added five assists of her own, while Trinity Adams tallied four in the five-setter.
As a squad, Florida registered a season-high 18.0 blocks and kept the Bulldogs to a .196 clip. Nnedi Okammor led the way at the net with a career-high 10 blocks. Fitzpatrick, Muff and Anna Dixon each added five in the match, while Victoria pitched in four.
McKissock (15), Emily Canaan (14) and Muff (12) led the backcourt defense for Florida, with those 14 digs serving as a career-best for Canaan. Adams and Martin combined for 12 on the night, posting seven and five digs, respectively.
Florida recorded 10 aces from behind the service line, led by four from McKissock – tying her career-best mark. Martin added two on the night, while four Gators each registered one: Fitzpatrick, Canaan, Muff and Dixon.
The Gators are right back in action on Wednesday night when the team plays host to the Texas A&M Aggies. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on the SEC Network with Sam Gore and Missy Whittemore on the call.
No. 3 Florida (10-1, 2-0 SEC)
Georgia (9-4, 0-1 SEC)
How It Happened
- The Gators found themselves down 9-2 early in the first set, but fought their way out of the hole, thanks in part to a Trinity Adams service run to knot the frame at 11-all. The Bulldogs grabbed the three-point lead at 14-11, but Florida responded right back to tie the set at 14-14. Georgia once again pulled ahead, but Florida used a 3-0 service run, including back-to-back McKissock aces to take its first lead of the set at 19-18. The Bulldogs battled back to tie it at 20-20, but Florida closed on a 5-2 run to grab the 1-0 match lead.
- Kennedy Martin and AC Fitzpatrick led the way offensively, recording four and three kills respectively.
- It was Florida that grabbed the early lead in the second set, with the Gators taking the 8-5 advantage. Florida continued to hold at least a one-point advantage through the media timeout, which UF took the 15-13 lead into. Out of the break, the Bulldogs tied the set at 16-all and from that point on, the two teams traded points until Georgia rallied to take the 23-21 lead late in the frame. The Gators got one back, but the Bulldogs went on to tie the match at 1-1 with their 25-22 win.
- Dixon and Martin posted three kills apiece in the second set, while Muff added two of her own.
- With the third set tied 8-8, the Bulldogs used a 4-0 scoring run to force Florida to use its first timeout. Following the break, Georgia kept Florida at an arm’s length until UF used a 4-0 run to pull within one at 14-13. The Gators eventually tied the frame at 15-all and it was back-and-forth until the Bulldogs used a 3-0 run to take the 22-19 lead. Florida cut its deficit to just one at the 23-22 mark, but Georgia closed on a 2-0 spurt to take the 2-1 match lead.
- Florida hit .310 in the third frame, led by five kills from Victoria and three from Fitzpatrick.
- The fourth set was tied 8-all early, but Florida used a 2-0 run to grab the slight advantage. The Bulldogs got one back, but the Gators used a 4-0 run to take the 13-9 lead. Georgia responded with a 5-0 run of its own to take the 14-13 lead and force the Florida timeout. Out of the break, it was a fight on both sides of the net, with neither squad holding more than a one-point lead until Florida used a 2-0 run to grab the 23-21 lead. Georgia cut UF’s lead to one at the 24-23 mark, but a Victoria kill cemented the victory and forced a deciding fifth set.
- In a frame that saw 15 ties and seven lead changes, Victoria posted a team-high seven kills with only one error in the fourth set.
- Georgia got out to the early 6-2 lead in the final frame, forcing a Florida timeout. Out of the break, the Gators went on a 5-1 run to knot the set at 7-all. The Bulldogs held the lead at the side switch, but with a 3-0 run, Florida grabbed the 11-9 lead and forced Georgia into its final timeout. The Bulldogs pulled to within one at 12-11, but Florida closed on a 3-0 run to secure the victory.
- Okammor recorded a team-high three blocks in the final set to clinch the match.
- Elli McKissock now sits sixth in program history with 1,370 digs, surpassing Rachael Engel (2002-05 | 1,359) on Sunday night
- Kennedy Muff posted her first double-double of the season, registering 38 assists and 12 digs
- Nnedi Okammor tallied a career-high 10.0 blocks on the night
- Kennedy Muff tied her career-high with five blocks in the win
- Emily Canaan registered a career-high 14 digs in the match
- Madi Gravlee recorded the first block of her Gator career
- McKissock tied her career-high with four aces in the match
- Kennedy Martin has registered at least 10 kills in each of the 11 matches thus far
- AC Fitzpatrick has notched double-digit kills in six matches this season, including the last five-straight
- Sofia Victoria has now recorded double-digit kills in four matches, including the last two
- McKissock posted her ninth match in double-digit digs, finishing with 15 on the night
- The Gators improve to 2-0 in SEC play for the 30th time since 1991
- Florida improves to 69-11 against Georgia in the all-time series, including a 66-3 record under Mary Wise
- UF is now 5-3 in five-set matches against UGA
- The Gators improve to 32-4 against the Bulldogs in Gainesville, Fla.
- Florida improves to 5-1 in five-set matches during the 2023 campaign
Thoughts from Coach Wise
- “It is hard to come up with new adjectives to describe this team and how they play against one of the best teams in the league with one of the best players in the league.”
- The Gators are right back in action on Wednesday night when the team plays host to the Texas A&M Aggies
- First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on the SEC Network with Sam Gore and Missy Whittemore on the call