Ole Miss no match for Florida in volleyball

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OXFORD, Miss. — The 10th-ranked Florida volleyball team completed its series Saturday with a three-set win over Ole Miss.

The Gators improve to 8-2 in the 2020-21 campaign, while Ole Miss drops to 0-8.

“Much of this match was determined behind the service line," UF coach Mary Wise said. "Our serves gave us lots of opportunities to score.”

Florida won the first two sets handily, defeating the Rebels 25-16 in both frames, then closed out the match with a 25-19 victory in the third.

The real difference maker in the match was the dominant serving performances by the entire squad, with Florida racking up a total of 14 service aces. That mark is the third-highest program total for a three-set match during the rally scoring era.

Thayer Hall led the way with four service aces – just one shy of her career-high. Five other Gators each posted two aces in the match: Holly Carlton, T’ara Ceasar, Paula Cerame, Lauren Dooley and Paige Hammons.

Florida once again had a balanced offensive attack, led by 11 kills from Ceasar. Hall followed with eight, while Carlton and Lauren Forte registered six and five kills, respectively.

Marlie Monserez dished out 28 assists in the victory, while also adding two kills on a .500 clip.

The Gators held Ole Miss to a .138 clip on the afternoon, including a .040 percentage in the first set. Lauren Dooley and Monserez each tallied a team-best two blocks in the match.

Cerame led the way in the backcourt, registering a team-high eight digs. Ceasar added seven of her own, while Monserez and Hall each pitched in six digs on the afternoon.

The Gators return to the court Feb. 6 when the squad returns to Exactech Arena for a two-match series with the 17th-ranked Missouri Tigers.

Note: The Gators are now 54-3 against the Rebels in series history, including an undefeated record of 48-0 under Wise.