OXFORD, Miss. — Top-ranked Florida remained undefeated after a 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-16) SEC volleyball win Friday over Ole Miss.
The Gators improved to 14-0, 6-0 in the SEC, while the Rebels fell to 12-8, 3-4.
The teams battled back-and-forth in set one, before the Rebels went on a 10-5 run to go up 21-16. Florida then went on a 9-2 run to close out the set 25-23, behind nine kills from middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan.
Ole Miss got out to a 5-1 start in set two, forcing Florida to call timeout. The Gators answered with an 11-5 run to go up 12-7. The Rebels never got any closer than four as Florida won it 25-18 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Gators carried the momentum over to set three and led 11-6 as Ole Miss called timeout. The Rebels never could get closer as Florida extended its lead and ended up taking the set 25-16 to close out the match 3-0.
Alhassan finished with 20 kills and zero errors on 26 attacks for a .769 hitting percentage, making her the only player in the nation to hit over a .710 average with at least 20 kills and 20 attempts this year. She is also the only player to tally at least 20 kills and finish with no errors in a match this year.
“We’ve had a history of some pretty elite middles, but this was a special performance. For a middle to score 23 points in a three-set match … she just made such great decisions all night long and was the difference-maker,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “Even the ones she didn’t touch, she altered some hitting choices by (Ole Miss). There were even more points she was responsible for than show up in the box score.”
Senior libero Caroline Knop led the back row with 20 digs, marking her fourth 20-dig match of the year.
- Rhamat Alhassan is one of four middle blockers in the nation to record 20 kills in a three-set match this year
- Alhassan’s .769 hitting percentage is the sixth-highest in the nation this year by a player with at least 20 attempts
- The Gators held an opponent under a .100 hitting percentage for the fifth time this season
- The Gators have never lost a match during the regular season as the nation’s No. 1 team (27-0 record) and boast a 32-2 all-time record at No. 1
- Florida improved its all-time record against Ole Miss to 49-3, along with a 43-0 mark under head coach Mary Wise
- Florida’s 14-0 start is the fourth-longest winning streak to open a season in school history, trailing 16-0 starts in 1987 and 2007, as well as the 28-0 start to the 1995 campaign
The win raised Mary Wise’s career win total to 889, surpassing former Pacific and Stanford head coach John Dunning for the seventh-most wins in Division I history and 13th most wins in NCAA history.
- Orange “Point Florida” T-Shirt Giveaway — First 500 general fans (pickup at merchandise booth on the right half of atrium); First 500 students (pickup at Gate 3 after entering arena)
- Student Tailgate (inside at Gate 3) — FREE brunch (Krispy Kreme donuts, coffee, Gatorade, orange juice)
- Honorary First Serve — Cam Newbauer, UF women’s basketball head coach
- Kid’s Korner (Gate 4 lobby) — Poster-making station; photo booth
- Post-match autographs
- Pre-match Court Projection Video
Florida hosts No. 8 Kentucky at 1 p.m. Sunday, the third top-10 matchup in SEC volleyball history. The matchup also pits the only two remaining SEC squads without a conference loss against one another.
“We’ve been preparing for Kentucky for some time,” Wise said. “It’s the best Kentucky team in decades. They’re that good. It should be a really fun match.”
Sunday, Oct. 15 vs. No. 8 Kentucky at 1 p.m.
TV: SEC Network
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Radio: Audio Stream [Tom Collett & Josh Crow] (also available via ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM/850 AM)