UF volleyball team rolls on in Puerto Rico


SAN JUAN — Florida’s defense carried it to a pair of top-five upsets last weekend, but the offense came around Saturday night in a sweep of N.C. State at the SEC-ACC Challenge in Puerto Rico.

The Gators (3-0), who led the nation with a .338 hitting percentage a year ago, posted a season-best .354 hitting percentage. Three-time All-American Rhamat Alhassan and fifth-year senior Shainah Joseph led the way in terms of efficiency, combining for 18 kills and zero errors on 27 attempts — good for a .667 clip. Joseph added four blocks to her line.

“It was a night where our defense remained steady,” UF coach Mary Wise said. “We had some highlight performances offensively, especially the play of our seniors — Rhamat, Carli, and Shainah. It’s a work in progress, as are all teams this early in the season.”

Two-time All-America honorable mention Carli Snyder logged a match-high 14 kills and 15.5 points. Fellow All-America honorable mention Caroline Knop tallied a match-high 17 digs. Sophomore Rachael Kramer only notched seven kills, but she was a force at the net, racking up six blocks.

Florida concludes its Puerto Rico trip tonight against No. 16 North Carolina (0-3) at 8:30 p.m. The Gators could become the only team in the nation with three wins over top-20 opponents this season. Only one team in the nation amassed three wins over top-20 opponents the first two weeks of last season: Stanford, which won the NCAA title.

The Gators’ audio stream will be available on FloridaGators.com and on the radio via ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM.