Volleyball sweeps Rebs, stays unbeaten in SEC

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 12:59 a.m.

The No. 11 Florida volleyball team earned its ninth sweep of the season, defeating the Ole Miss Rebels in three sets (25-14, 25-12, 25-22) to remain unbeaten in the SEC.

UF move to 14-2 (8-0 SEC) in 2012 while the Rebels fall to below .500 at 8-9 on the season and 2-6 in conference play.

Reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week Ziva Recek led all players on the floor with a match-high 17 kills, hitting .385 with two blocks for 18.5 points. Sophomore defensive specialist Holly Pole had one of the best matches of her career, tallying a season-high 13 digs and a career-high three aces, tying for the team high with senior middle blocker Betsy Smith, who also turned in a career high (3) in aces. Pole led the team in digs for the first time in her career.

“This match was the tale of the first two sets,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “We just got into such a great serving rhythm and scored some relatively easy points off the serve. We addressed the team during the break, saying that if Ole Miss found some passing rhythm, they have enough point scorers that (the match) would look very different. Lo and behold, that's what happened (in the third set). They started passing well and Kara Morgan, their junior outside hitter who is playing the best volleyball of her career, kind of went off there.

“But to win the first two (sets) like we did and have to grind it out for the third one and be able to rest Chloe (in the third set), it was a good night for the Gators,” Wise said.

Junior middle blocker Chloe Mann hit .750 with an errorless six kills to go along with three blocks. On the night, the Gators put up 10.0 blocks for their fourth-straight double-digit blocking effort of the season and fifth overall. Freshman outside hitter Gabby Mallette stuffed four blocks on the evening, adding four errorless kills against the Rebels.

“Being able to help defensively just really helps our team with momentum and energy because I feel like that's where we get most of it,” Mallette said. “It feels great being able to help and to be out (playing) on the court in general. It feels good.”

Junior setter Taylor Brauneis directed the Gators to a .337 hitting percentage against the Rebels, the 11th time Florida has hit above .300 in 2012. Sophomore libero Taylor Unroe scooped 10 digs and served up two aces on the night.

The Gators rattled off four straight points to open the match behind the serve of Smith and continued to roll, taking an 8-2 advantage into the first set. Recek put up a solo stuff and put down a slam through the seam of the block to go ahead, 10-2. Recek and Smith teamed up for a block to continue the Gator lead, 13-7. Ole Miss began to chip away at the Florida advantage, pulling within three at 13-10, forcing a Gator timeout. The Orange and Blue got the momentum back on their side of the net, ending the set on a 10-4 run. Senior right-side hitter Tangerine Wiggs put the opening set away with her first kill of the match, 25-14.

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