College volleyball: Gators top Tigers in four-set battle

Special to Gatorsports.com

BATON ROUGE, La. — The 20th-ranked Florida volleyball team defeated the LSU Tigers in four sets Saturday evening in the Maravich Center.

“It was a match that wasn’t as clean as we would have hoped, but we were able to generate enough points to come out with a win on the road,” UF coach Mary Wise said.

The Gators (11-5, 5-1 SEC) have now won four consecutive matches.

LSU (6-9, 2-4) took the first set 25-22, but Florida answered with a 25-17 victory in the second frame. The Gators took the third set 25-18 and closed out the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth.

The Gators were led offensively by Lauren Forte, who notched a 15-kill performance on the night. Merritt Beason added 13 kills, while T’ara Ceasar pitched in 12.

Marlie Monserez registered 39 assists in the four-setter, while Elli McKissock tallied seven assists.

As a team, the Gators recorded 11.0 blocks, led by five apiece from Lauren Dooley and Beason. Forte posted four blocks, while Thayer Hall recorded three.

Florida’s backcourt defense was led by a 22-dig performance by Elli McKissock, while Ceasar added a career-high 20 digs. Hall and Monserez each posted 12 digs.

Ceasar recorded a team-high three service aces, while Hall pitched in two.

The Gators are right back in action on Sunday to close out the series with the Tigers.  First serve is slated for 1 p.m. on the SEC Network and the match can also be heard on the airways of ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM.