Special report on the Florida Gators volleyball team:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The sixth-ranked Florida volleyball team grabbed its second sweep in as many matches after topping UC Davis in straight-sets on Saturday afternoon.
Florida won a tight battle in the first set, taking the frame 25-21, then followed with a statement 25-11 victory in the second. The Gators closed out the match with a 25-18 win in the final set.
With the win, Mary Wise claimed her 900th victory at the University of Florida. She is just the second female coach in Division I history to reach 900 wins at a single school and she currently sits at 981 wins in her career overall.
Thayer Hall led the offensive attack for the Gators, posting 11 kills on the morning. Merritt Beason followed with nine kills of her own, while T’ara Ceasar and Marlie Monserez posted seven apiece in the match.
Middle blockers Lauren Forte and Lauren Dooley each added five kills of their own in the three-setter.
Marlie Monserez led the Gators to a .352 clip in the match, dishing out 29 assists.
Florida was dominate at the net, posting 10.0 blocks. Forte registered a team-high eight blocks in the match, a Florida career-best for the redshirt senior. Ceasar added three blocks, while Beason posted two from the right side.
Elli McKissock recorded nine digs to lead the backcourt defense, followed by eight apiece from Monserez and Hall.
The Gators close out the Hornet Invitational against Sacramento State at 10 p.m. ET. The match is slated to air on ESPN+.
No. 6 Florida (2-0)
UC Davis (0-2)
How It Happened
- The first set was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team holding more than a three-point lead through the first third. The Gators pulled ahead four at 12-8, but the Aggies dug themselves out of the hole, knotting the set at 14-all. Once again, Florida created some distance, taking the three-point lead at 17-14, forcing a UC Davis timeout. The Aggies battled their way back, tying the frame at 17-17, this time forcing Florida to utilize its first timeout. UC Davis went ahead 18-17 out of the break, but Florida closed out on a 7-4 run to secure the frame.
- The Gators hit .293 in the first set, led by six kills from Hall. Dooley added four kills of her own in the first frame, followed by three apiece from Beason and Monserez.
- With the second set tied 4-4, the Gators strung together a 6-2 run to force a UC Davis timeout at the 10-6 mark. Florida continued to build its lead, pulling ahead seven at 16-9 to cause the Aggies to use their final timeout. Out of the break, the Gators closed out on a 9-2 run behind a strong service run from Ceasar to go up 2-0 in the match.
- Florida hit .435 in the second frame, while holding the Aggies to a -.120 clip. Beason posted a team-best four kills in the set, while Ceasar added three.
- UC Davis took the early 7-3 lead in the third set, forcing the Gators to use their first timeout. Florida pulled its way out of the hole, knotting the third set at 8-8. UF then put together a 10-4 run to take the 18-12 advantage late in the frame. The Aggies pulled back to within three at 21-18, but Florida ended the threat with a 4-0 run to end the match.
- UF hit .370 in the final frame, led by four kills from Hall. Forte and Beason each added three in the final set.
- Wise won her 900th match with the University of Florida today, bringing her to 981 in her career overall
- She is just the second female coach in Division I history to reach 900 wins at a single school (Karen Chisum, Texas State)
- There is only one other active Division I head coach that has crossed the 900-win threshold at one school (Russ Rose, Penn State)
- In NCAA Division I history, Russ Rose (Penn State), Dave Shoji (Hawaii), Andy Banachowski (UCLA) and Karen Chisum (Texas State) are the only four coaches to achieve 900 wins at a single institution
- Forte’s eight blocks are a Florida career-best for the redshirt senior who joined the team in Jan. 2021
- Beason set a new season-best with nine kills
- Florida moves to 1-0 against the Aggies
- With her 29 assists today, Marlie Monserez inched closer to breaking into UF’s Top-10. She currently sits at 2,562 career assists, just 109 shy of claiming the No. 10 spot
Thoughts from Coach Wise
- “With these preseason matches, the test is quick turnarounds with little prep. UC Davis played very well and it was a great opportunity for us to get better.”
- The Gators conclude the Hornet Invitational with a match against Sacramento State at 10 p.m. ET
- The match will air on ESPN+
Series Information – No. 6 Florida at Sacramento State
Hornets | 2020-21 season synopsis: 10-7 overall, 10-6 Big Sky
- This is the first meeting between the Gators and the Hornets
- Fans are allowed to attend the matches, but must wear a face covering per Sacramento County health order
- Ticket prices – One-day passes:
- Adult: $12
- Youth (ages 3-17): $6
- Senior (ages 65+): $6