NCAA Tournament: Florida volleyball cruises by Iowa State

Ainslie Lee
The Gainesville Sun

The No. 12 Florida Gators advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday with a straight-set win over Iowa State from the Exactech Arena at the University of Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

The Gators' win on Saturday was their second straight three-set sweep in this year's NCAA tournament. Florida topped Florida A&M 3-0 on Friday night.

Here are takeaways from the Gators' win over the Cyclones on Saturday night.

Beason, Markova lead Gators' offense

Florida sophomore Merritt Beason and senior Marina Markova led Florida in its win over Iowa State as each outside hitter tallied 12 kills. Coincidentally, both also tallied 25 attempts on the night.

Beason and Markova's double-digit effort was different from the Gators' effort Friday, which saw Florida score by committee as four Gators notched 6+ kills against the Rattlers.

The resurgence of Markova was a good sign for the Gators, who watched as their senior returned to double-digit kills after only recording six against Florida A&M. The story was exactly the same for Beason, who also only tallied six kills against the Rattlers.

Alongside Beason and Markova, junior Sofia Victoria added eight kills against Iowa State.

Florida out-serves Iowa State

In addition to out-hitting the Cyclones 27.9% to 11%, the Gators also got a boost from the service line as they tallied seven aces to Iowa State's one.

Leading Florida's service efforts was libero Elli McKissock, who served up three aces against Iowa State. Fellow junior Trinity Adams added two more to the Gators' total.

Meanwhile, Morgan Brandt was the lone Cyclone to notch an ace against the Gators.

Gators move on in NCAA tournament

Following Florida's win over Iowa State, the Gators move on to the third round of their 32nd straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.

The No. 3 Gators will now travel to the see the second-ranked Pittsburg Panthers, who are coming off a straight-set win over BYU.