After a tragic upset on the football field in Jacksonville against the Georgia Bulldogs on Oct. 27, the Gator Nation finally found reason to celebrate. Florida Gators volleyball swept SEC rival Georgia on Friday, lifting the spirits of many previously devastated Gator fans.
The girls started the match with a 12-0 SEC record for the season, compared to 7-5 Georgia, and they were able to hold on to their undefeated conference streak. They won the first three sets, scoring 25-15, 25-23 and 25-14 and putting the Bulldogs to shame.
Florida served nine aces Friday night, tying their previous SEC record for the season.
Sunday afternoon, the Tennessee Volunteers paid a visit to the O’Dome for one of the most intense rivalry matches the two teams have ever seen. Going in to the match, the Gators were 13-0 in the SEC, compared to UT’s 9-4 conference record.
The Gators dominated the first set with a score of 25-17. The next game was closer, but the Lady Vols took the win with a score of 25-21. The third set was tied at 25-all, and the Gators pulled through to win the stanza, 29-27. The fourth set was just as close, but Tennessee managed to win the set 25-23.
In NCAA volleyball, the fifth set is only played to 15 points, but the set was prolonged until UT won by two points with a score of 19-17. This upset broke the Gators’ SEC streak and left the team with a 13-1 conference record, bringing the Volunteers’ SEC record to 10-4.
Florida head coach Mary Wise said the team is disappointed with the outcome but that Tennessee deserves credit for how well they played.
Florida volleyball is now ranked 16 among the NCAA Division I. The girls will hit the road this week and play Missouri for the first time in the teams’ history on Friday, followed by another SEC matchup Sunday at Ole Miss.
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