Balanced offense powers No. 4 Gators to win
AUBURN, Ala. – Fifth-year senior Shainah Joseph led the way, but the No. 4 Florida volleyball team had five players with at least eight kills in their four-set win Sunday at Auburn.
Joseph notched a match-high 13 kills, the second-highest output of her career for the Gators (16-1, 8-1 SEC). The Canadian also hit an impressive .632—which topped her career high (minimum 15 attempts)—committing only one error on 19 attempts.
Sophomore middle blocker Rachael Kramer continued her impressive weekend with 12 kills and a .476 hitting percentage, while Carli Snyder (nine), Paige Hammons (nine) and Rhamat Alhassan (eight) all reached the eight-kill mark. All four, as well as Joseph, finished with at least 11 points.
Redshirt junior setter Allie Monserez stabilized the Gators’ offense with 41 assists, tying the season high she set in a five-set win over Nebraska (Aug. 26) earlier this year. That distribution helped Florida to a .336 hitting percentage, which was its third-highest clip of the season.
Alhassan also made an impact defensively, tallying seven block assists to tie Benavia Jenkins’ (2000-03) school record for career block assists (502). Along the backline, senior libero Caroline Knop amassed a match-high 18 digs, while Snyder chipped in 16.
“What a great response to Friday night’s performance by Allie Monserez and Shainah Joseph,” UF coach Mary Wise said. “Neither player had their best performance Friday night. They saved it for today, on a day when we really needed it. Those two were terrific. This is a very good serving team that serves great at home. I thought our team weathered the storm.”
No. 20 Gators win 2-1 at No. 11 Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Florida soccer won 2-1 off a pair of second-half goals at Tennessee on Sunday.
After a scoreless opening half, junior Sarah Troccoli opened the second half scoring in the 55th minute for UF (13-4, 7-2 SEC). Deanne Rose received ball at the top corner of the box and took a touch to explore her options. Her short pass found Troccoli in the middle of the box where she calmly one-touched it in from the penalty spot.
Tennessee (13-3-1, 5-3-1) tied the match in the 63rd when Anna Bialczak headed in the long free kick from Katie Cousins.
The game-winning goal started in the 80th minute when Briana Solis won the ball just inside the Vol half. She sent the ball forward to Madison Alexander standing about 10 yards above the box. Solis sprinted toward goal and Alexander sent the ball into the box. Solis caught up and then placed it in off a left-footed strike to the far post from 15 yards.
“We felt if we could break their initial line of pressure, we could get in behind them,” UF coach Becky Burleigh aid. “It was happening in the first half, but we made a more concerted effort in the second half. It paid off as we had multiple opportunities.
“I thought our possession was the answer. We did a great job of keeping the ball. The combination play was very difficult for them to deal with. It was a classic late-in-the-season SEC meeting between two good teams.”