After Hurricane Irma forced a 12-day layover for the Gators, some wondered if third-ranked Florida would show some rust against Florida A&M.
The Gators put any such worries to rest.
In the first of three matches in the Gator Invitational, Florida overwhelmed the visiting Rattlers 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-9).
Junior Taelor Kellum put the exclamation point on a dominant performance, sealing the deal for the undefeated Gators with her second kill of the night.
This is the fourth time in the last five years that the Gators have started the season 5-0.
They were led by seniors Carli Snyder and Rhamat Alhassan, who both came close to achieving a double-double.
Snyder (12) and Alhassan (9) led all players in kills. Snyder also contributed nine digs, while Alhassan came up with a game-high eight blocks.
Florida more than doubled FAMU’s kill total, holding a 43-21 advantage, and the Gators’ .311 hitting percentage was significantly better than the Rattlers' -.009 mark.
In addition to the disparity in hitting percentage, the Gators’ defense collected 11 blocks, while FAMU finished the match with four.
Florida was also better moving the ball, racking up 41 assists to FAMU’s 18.
Sophomore Rachael Kramer managed eight kills, while senior Caroline Knop and sophomore Allie Gregory led the team in digs with 16 and 11, respectively.
Redshirt junior Allie Monserez had a game-high 21 assists. Behind her was sophomore Cheyenne Huskey, who came up two assists short of matching her season-high 18 against then-No. 1 Texas.
Senior Shainah Joseph and freshman Paige Hammons each added four kills of their own.
The Gators will be back on the court later today as they face Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m., followed by a matchup with Lipscomb on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“It’s a great opportunity going in and playing this many opponents,” coach Mary Wise said on Wednesday. “It’s what you have to do in the NCAA Tournament, playing back-to-back matches, and we don’t play two matches in one day very often.”
Wise, currently in her 27th season in Gainesville, can reach 800 wins at Florida with a victory over Northern Kentucky.
You can follow Andrew Huang on Twitter @AndrewJHuang, and contact him at [email protected].