SEC volleyball: Florida can't keep up with Kentucky

Special to

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The 20th-ranked Florida volleyball team fell to the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats in three sets Friday in Memorial Coliseum.

The Gators drop to 20-7 on the year and 15-3 in league play, while Kentucky moves to 23-4 overall and 16-1 in the conference – clinching at least a share of the SEC title.

Kentucky took the tightly-contested 25-22 victory in the first set and followed with another 25-22 win in the second frame. The Wildcats closed out the match with a 25-20 victory in the third set to end UF's winning streak at nine in a row.

Florida was led on the offensive front by a 14-kill performance from T’ara Ceasar. Merritt Beason pitched in eight kills, while Lauren Forte and Thayer Hall followed with five kills apiece. 

Marlie Monserez dished out 30 assists, to go along with four digs, two kills and a block.

As a team, Florida tallied 10 blocks at the net, led by eight from Forte. Ceasar posted three blocks, while Bre Kelley and Beason each registered two apiece.

Elli McKissock led the backcourt defense for the Gators, posting 16 digs in the match. Hall and Beason added seven digs apiece, while Ceasar registered five digs.

The Gators are right back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday to close out the regular season against the Wildcats. The match will air on the SEC Network +