The Bulldogs were down big again in the second set, staring at the set point against them and looking for anything to bring them back.
Georgia’s outside hitter Katie Houser hit a ball to Florida’s side during the rally but was stuffed so hard at the net that the shot ricocheted back over everyone on the Georgia team. Players stretched out their arms and threw themselves after the descending ball.
No one could reach it as the ball fell to an empty area on Georgia’s side again, giving Florida the set and deflating the scattered crowd at the Ramsey Center Volleyball Arena.
Imposing defense at the net and strong performances from behind the line were big reasons why the No. 13 Florida volleyball team swept its conference rival Georgia on Sunday 25-13, 25-11, 25-20 in Athens, Georgia.
The Gators (23-5, 14-2 SEC) refused to repeat their sloppy offensive performance from Friday against LSU where they amassed 18 attack errors and eight service errors. Instead, they came out hitting efficiently in both areas and the Bulldogs (13-14, 4-12 SEC) could not keep up.
Florida hit for a .571 hitting percentage in the first set led by middle blocker Rachael Kramer, who had five kills on just six swings in the opening set.
Kramer continued to hit her mark throughout the contest, finishing with 11 kills on just 15 swings for a season-best clip of .667 in the three-set win. It was her 12th match with double-digit kills.
Florida used lockdown defense and precise serves from behind the line to dominate in the second set. Outside hitter Paige Hammons smacked back-to-back aces, and the defense created three attack errors in a 9-2 run to close out the second set.
Florida’s sturdy play at the net was vital as UGA was held to a -.115 hitting percentage in the second set and .023 in the match. Kramer also led the way in that area, totaling six of the team’s 10 total blocks on the match.
Georgia kept it closer in the third set, but UF’s defense prevailed again when a big block from Kramer started a 6-0 run that helped the Gators pull away and complete the sweep.
Libero Allie Gregory also held it down in the back row as she tallied a team-high 18 digs.
Gregory and the rest of the Florida team will look to take its strong performance into the final two matches of the regular season.
“The offense was efficient today, but most impressive was the backcourt play anchored by Allie Gregory,” coach Mary Wise said in a release. “She had one of her best performances in a three-set match today.”
Follow Dylan Rudolph on Twitter @dyrudolph or contact him at email@example.com.
Florida middle blocker Rachael Kramer (5) was a part of six of the team’s 10 blocks in Sunday’s three-set sweep over Georgia in Athens.