Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 3 Florida volleyball team topped the Clemson Tigers in straight sets on Friday night to remain undefeated in the 2023 campaign.
The Gators are now 6-0 for the 12th time in program history and the first time since the 2017 campaign.
Florida won the first set decisively 25-15, then followed with a 25-17 victory in the second frame. The Gators then won the third set in comeback fashion, claiming the third set 26-24.
The defense was the difference maker in the match, with Florida holding Clemson to a .077 clip. It was the best opponent hitting percentage the Gators have registered this season. As a team, Florida registered 12.5 blocks, led by nine-block performances from both Gabrielle Essix and Kennedy Martin. That was a career-high for Martin, surpassing her best of eight one night ago, while Essix was just one block away from tying her career-high.
AC Fitzpatrick added three blocks of her own, while Sofia Victoria and Anna Dixon each posted two.
Florida’s offensive attack was led by a 14-kill performance from Martin, who finished the night hitting .312. Fitzpatrick, Dixon and Victoria each tallied eight kills apiece in the win.
Alexis Stucky registered 37 assists in the sweep, leading the team to a .296 clip.
The backcourt was paced by McKissock on Friday night, with the senior libero tallying 13 digs. Stucky added 10 for her third double-double of the year, while Martin (9) and Trinity Adams (6) combined for 15 digs in the win.
Adams posted a team-high two service aces, followed by one apiece from McKissock, Martin and Stucky.
Florida finishes the Gators Invitational with a Saturday matchup against Winthrop. First serve is slated for 3 p.m. and although the match will not be streamed, it can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch.
No. 3 Florida (6-0)
How It Happened
- Florida got off to the early 9-6 in the first frame, but the Tigers battled back to tie the set at 13-all. The Gators used a 2-0 run to take the lead into the media timeout and did not look back from there. Out of the break, Adams used a 9-0 run behind the service line to give Florida its largest lead of the set at 24-14. After Clemson got one back, Martin’s third kill of the frame ended it, giving the Gators the 25-15 victory.
- UF hit a stellar .480 in the first set, while holding Clemson to a .000 clip. Four different Gators each recorded three kills: Fitzpatrick, Essix, Martin and Dixon.
- After Clemson took the 5-2 lead to start the second set, the Gators swung the momentum in their direction after a 4-0 service run from Martin. The Tigers tied it back up at 7-all, but Florida used a 3-0 run to pull ahead 10-7 and force the Clemson timeout. The Gators continued to build on their lead, taking the six-point advantage at 18-12. The Tigers pulled back to within five at 22-17, but Florida used a 3-0 run to close out the set and take the 2-0 lead.
- Florida hit .350 in the second frame, while once again holding the Tigers to below a .120 clip (.118). Dixon and Victoria each posted four kills in the frame, followed by Fitzpatrick’s three.
- The Tigers took the third set from the jump, pulling ahead four at 7-3 to force a Florida timeout. Clemson continued to keep Florida at a distance, with the Gators getting no closer than two until a 6-1 run that knotted the set at 18-18. The Gators took their first lead of the set at 20-19 on a Fitzpatrick kill. The two teams traded points through the final portion of the set, but while tied at 24-all, UF capitalized on back-to-back Clemson errors to win 26-24.
- Martin posted a team-high nine kills in the final frame.
- Alexis Stucky recorded her third double-double of the season with 37 assists and 10 digs
- The Gators are now 6-0 for the 12th time in program history and first time since 2017
- Florida improves to 4-0 against Clemson in the all-time series
- The Gators improve to 4-0 against the Tigers in three-set matches
- Florida is now 4-0 against Clemson in Gainesville
- The Gators are now 3-0 in three-set matches in the 2023 campaign
Thoughts from Coach Wise
- “The energy of the crowd – especially the student section – was such a big factor in our ability to close out the third set as what a great job Clemson was doing of keeping the ball in play.”
- Florida finishes the Gators Invitational with a Saturday matchup against Winthrop
- First serve is slated for 3 p.m. and although the match will not be streamed, it can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch
Series Information – No. 3 Florida vs. Winthrop
Eagles | 2023 season: 0-8, 0-0 Big South
- This is the first meeting between the Gators and the Eagles