Special to Gatorsports.com
The 11th-ranked Florida volleyball team completed its perfect weekend in the Honda of Gainesville Gators Invitational, winning the 3-2 decision against Long Beach State (3-6) on Saturday evening.
Long Beach State won the first set 27-25, but Florida (5-2) rallied to take set two, 25-16. The Gators once again held control in the third set, winning 25-20, before falling in the fourth, 25-19. Florida was able to secure the match with a 19-17 win in the final frame.
Lauren Dooley was named MVP of the Invitational, while Thayer Hall and Holly Carlton were both named to the All-Tournament team.
Florida’s offensive attack was led by Darrielle King, who registered a career-high 15 kills in the match. Dooley added a career-best 14 kills, while Thayer Hall and Holly Carlton registered 12 and 11 kills, respectively. As a team, Florida hit .345, the best hitting percentage of the year.
Marlie Monserez dished out a personal-best 52 assists on the evening, running the Gators offense.
Defensively, Allie Gregory once again led the team in digs, recording 20 on the evening.
The Gators are back in action on Tuesday against in-state rival No. 25 Florida State. The match is slated for a 6 p.m. start on the SEC Network.
UF CROSS COUNTRY
Gators Men and Women Sweep Mountain Dew Invitational Titles: The Mountain Dew Invitational crown is back in the hands of both Florida men’s and women’s cross country teams, as the Gators swept first-place team finishes on Friday morning in front of an electric home crowd at UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course.
The last time both Florida men’s and women’s cross country teams swept Mountain Dew Invitational titles was 2016.
The Florida men came out on top with 40 team points on the day, with all top-five runners finishing in the top-10, while North Florida (53 points) and Embry-Riddle (142 points) followed in second and third place respectively. The women finished with 30 points, seeing five runners finish in the top-10, as Tampa (107 points) and North Florida (133 points) followed.
In the men’s 8k race, sophomore Nick Deal led the way for Florida with a sixth-place finish time of 25:45.34 before the Gators would bring in the 7-8-9-10 finishes to round out the race’s top-10. Redshirt senior Jack Guyton (25:50.79) was the next to cross the finish line, followed by Matt Clark (25:53.70), Colin Schaefer (23:36.01), and Blake Lowery (26:07.32).
Jessica Pascoe dominated the field from the start in the women’s 5k race, finishing almost a whole minute faster than the next competitor (17:52.24) to claim a first-place finish time of 16:54.74. Her four top-five finishes in the Mountain Dew Invitational matches the likes of Gator great Genevieve LaCaze in the event’s history.
Junior Payton Capes-Davis followed finishing in second place in her Mountain Dew Invitational debut, as freshmen Maria Fernandez (18:26.31) and Pamela O’Brien (18:30.66) notched personal bests claiming eighth and ninth-place finishes respectively.