UF roundup: Gators fall to Bears in four sets

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The seventh-ranked Florida volleyball team fell to the 17th-ranked Baylor Bears in four sets on Friday night in Exactech Arena.

Baylor (2-3) took the first set in a tightly-contested 27-25 battle, but Florida (4-2) answered with a 25-22 victory in the second.  The Bears took set three 25-18 and then secured the match with a 25-23 win in the fourth.

Outsides T’ara Ceasar and Thayer Hall led the offensive attack for the Gators, notching 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Lauren Forte added eight kills.

Marlie Monserez dished out 36 assists on the night, pushing her to ninth overall in Florida’s program history for career assists.

As a squad, the Gators recorded 13.0 blocks at the net, led by Lauren Dooley, who posted a season-high nine. Merritt Beason followed with a career-high six blocks, while Monserez and Forte each pitched in three.

Elli McKissock and Monserez led the backcourt defense for Florida, with the pair each recording 10 digs. Ceasar added nine digs – just one shy of a double-double – while Hall and Beason added eight and seven digs, respectively.

Hall, Monserez and McKissock led the way behind the service line, tallying two aces apiece.

The Gators and the Bears are right back in action Saturday to close out the series. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. 


 Florida lost 7-1 to No. 2 North Carolina (7-0) on Thursday night at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

The match ended a month of Thursday meetings of top-20 teams for Florida (1-5-1). Only the UF and Ohio State schedules included four matches against top-25 teams in the opening four weeks of the 2021 season.

Florida next opens Southeastern Conference action Sept. 17 at Vanderbilt.