Florida rallies from 0-2 to beat Missouri in SEC volleyball

Special to Gatorsports.com

The seventh-ranked Florida volleyball team fought all the way back from being down 0-2 Friday to secure the five-set thriller over No. 25 Missouri at the O'Connell Center.

“Today felt like an NCAA match with two teams going after it," UF coach Mary Wise said. "Missouri played so well that we are a better team having had this opportunity to compete against them.”

The Gators extend their win streak to 10 matches and improve to 15-2 on the year, while Missouri drops to 11-6 in the SEC-only format.

The Tigers took the first two tightly-contested sets by a score of 25-23 before Florida answered with a 25-19 win in the third. The Gators won 27-25 in the fourth to force a deciding fifth set. Florida found itself down 13-10 in the final frame, but closed the frame on a 5-0 run to secure the victory.

Three Gators finished with double-digits kills, led by 24 apiece from outsides T’ara Ceasar and Thayer Hall. Ceasar posted a .364 clip, while Hall registered a .426 clip with just four errors.

The last time Florida had two players score 20+ kills in a match was Nov. 3, 2013 when Chloe Mann and Alex Holston went for 22 and 21 against Texas A&M.

Holly Carlton finished with 12 kills, while Lauren Forte added a season-best nine.

Marlie Monserez anchored Florida’s offense to a .344 clip overall and dished out 56 assists in the match. Elli McKissock added a career-high 13 assists.

As a team, the Gators notched 15.0 blocks at the net, led by six from Lauren Dooley. Forte and Hall each added five apiece, while Monserez and Carlton tallied three each. 

Monserez led the backcourt defense for Florida, registering a career-high 20 digs on the afternoon for her seventh double-double of the year. McKissock posted 15 digs of her own to secure her first double-double of the season.

Ceasar added 12 digs on the afternoon for her seventh double-double as well, while Hall clinched her second double-double with 11 digs.

Florida recorded six service aces, led by Paige Hammons who tied her career-best with four on the afternoon.

The Gators close out the series with Missouri on Saturday, with first serve slated for 4 p.m. The match will be aired on the SEC Network + and can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch.