SEC volleyball: Florida gets past Auburn in straight sets

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Florida outside hitter T'ara Ceasar leads the way.

The No. 20 Florida volleyball team defeated the Auburn Tigers in straights sets Wednesday night in Exactech Arena to extend its win streak to seven matches.

"We did a lot of things right following the game plan tonight," UF coach Mary Wise said. "A lot of credit to the players for staying focused and executing to win in three in a week where we have so many matches in so few days."

The Gators improve to 18-6 on the year and 12-2 in the SEC, while Auburn falls to 13-12 overall and 5-10 in league play.

UF took the first set handily with a 25-11 win and followed with a 25-15 victory in the second frame. The Gators secured the match with a 25-19 win in the final set.

Florida's attack was led by T'ara Ceasar, who posted 12 kills. Thayer Hall followed with an 11-kill, .455 performance, while Lauren Forte added 10 kills on a .667 clip.

Marlie Monserez dished out 39 assists, moving her into the No. 5 spot in program history for career assists. She also led the team to a .305 clip.

The Gators held Auburn to a .089 hitting percentage, the fourth time this season the squad has held an opponent below .100. Bre Kelley posted a team-high two blocks.

Elli McKissock led Florida's backcourt defense with a 17-dig performance, while Ceasar and Monserez pitched in 12 and 10 digs, respectively.

Four different players registered a service ace in the match – Trinity Adams, Merritt Beason, McKissock and Monserez.

The Gators close out the home portion of their schedule with a two-match series against the South Carolina Gamecocks, beginning Saturday. First serve for Saturday's match is set for 4 p.m., while Sunday's match is slated for a 2 p.m. start. Sunday will also serve as Senior Day for Florida's five seniors – T'ara Ceasar, Lauren Dooley, Lauren Forte, Thayer Hall and Marlie Monserez.

National honors for T'ara Ceasar

For her performance in the series sweep over Arkansas, redshirt senior T'ara Ceasar was named this week's Sports Imports/AVCA Division I Player of the Week, the organization announced Tuesday.

This is the first such honor of Ceasar's career and comes off the heels of her earning her second consecutive SEC Overall Player of the Week award.

Against the Razorbacks, the redshirt senior averaged 5.00 kills per set, 3.25 digs per set, 5.38 points per set and registered a .420 clip.

In the first match against Arkansas, Ceasar posted 17 kills on 29 swings with only one error for a career-high .552 hitting percentage. She added five digs, three blocks, one ace and one assist in the three-set victory.

The Panama City, Fla. native notched 23 kills in Saturday's win against Arkansas, to go along with her career-high 21 digs. That performance was her team-leading 10th double-double of year. She also hit .346 in the match and added a block in the five-setter.