It was the block heard round the O’Connell Center.
After losing the first set against Miami in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday and trailing in the second, Florida needed a play to build some momentum.
And freshman outside hitter Carli Snyder was there to make it.
Down 12-10 against UM and scrambling to stop the Hurricanes from getting its 13th point of the second set, Snyder made the stop. As Miami’s Kelsie Groot attempted a kill, Snyder stood like a brick wall against Groot’s attack.
Snyder came out the winner as the ball bounced off her hands and slid down Groot’s arm.
As she landed the crowd grew from low murmurs to roars of excitement.
Snyder’s stop changed the game, and the No. 8 seed Gators (27-3) went on to defeat the Hurricanes (22-9) 3-1.
“What we’ve seen from Carli – the ability to create – she’s like a basketball player, who can create kills,” coach Mary Wise said. “She does that with an arm swing – where does it come from out of that body? But the reaction of the block, that’s bonus. She’s in there to generate kills and when she got that block it was huge.”
While Snyder didn’t finish the night with huge stats like teammates Alex Holston, who had 19 kills for the night, and Gabby Mallette, who finished with 10 kills and a .545 hitting efficiency, she stood as the momentum builder. If Snyder offered anything to the game, it was helping pull Florida out of the slump it entered the match in.
Her nine kills and six digs aren’t what Florida fans and players will take from the match, but her single block in a season where she’s only made 28 blocks in 88 sets played will be what everyone remembers when they think back to Florida’s hard fought 3-1 win over Miami in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“When Carli got that block I don’t think I have ever heard the O’Connell Center get that loud before,” senior Holly Pole said.
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Carli Snyder awaits a play during Florida's 3-1 win against Miami in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in the O'Connell Center.