Special to Gatorsports.com
LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 7 Florida volleyball team battled until the end with No. 3 Texas, but fell just short in the fifth set (18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 10-15) on Saturday.
Florida finished 1-1 at the VERT Challenge after upsetting host Nebraska 3-1 on Friday night.
Thayer Hall led all Gators (1-1) with 21 kills, bringing her to 41 total for the weekend. Holly Carlton followed with 11 kills and a .360 hit clip. Paige Hammons posted nine kills during the match, while Rachael Kramer and Taelor Kellum both recorded eight kills apiece.
Marlie Monserez (29) and Allie Monserez (28) combined for 57 assists and five players registered double-digit digs. Kramer and Hall each posted four blocks apiece at the net.
The Gators fell in the first set, 25-18, with Taelor Kellum notching four kills. Kramer and Carlton each registered three kills in the frame as well, while Allie Monserez recorded seven assists and Marlie Monserez added six of her own.
Florida topped Texas 25-21 in both the second set and the third set to take a 2-1 lead over the Longhorns. Hall posted seven kills in the second set, hitting .538 during the frame. Carlton recorded three kills and the Monserezs combined for 13 assists in the second set.
Hall once again led the Gators in the third set, recording six kills on 12 swings, while also picking up four digs. Paige Hammons and Allie Gregory each recorded three digs in the frame. The Gators trailed almost the entire set, but tied the game at 19-19 and went on a 6-2 run to clinch the frame.
The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair between the two squads, but after the game was tied at 18-18, Texas took advantage of four Florida errors to go on a 7-3 run and even the match at 2-2.
Florida held a 9-5 lead in the final set, but the Longhorns went on a 10-1 run to close out the frame and win the match. Six Gators recorded one kill in the final set and M. Monserez recorded a set-leading three digs and three assists for Florida.
The Gators host the Bubly Invitational from Aug. 31-Sept. 2 and the tournament features No. 10 Southern California, Louisville and UCF. Florida plays Southern California on Friday at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Note: Thayer Hall and Allie Gregory were named to the VERT Challenge All-Tournament Team