It was a game that Florida had been anticipating for eight months. The experienced, freshmen-less team could finally get its season underway.
The Gators swept the Cardinals in convincing fashion, taking the three sets 25-17, 25-21, 25-21. Florida suffocated Louisville’s attack, as the Cardinals’ hitting percentage was a paltry .107. The Gators also accumulated 14 block assists and seven blocks.
Trailing 4-3 in the first set, a kill by redshirt junior Holly Carlton was the beginning of a 10-0 run that gave the Gators a commanding 13-4 lead. Thayer Hall had three of her team-leading 12 kills on the night during this run.
Florida was in cruise control for the rest of the set en route to a 25-17 win.
Both teams showed some rust from the serving line to begin the second set. Five of the first nine points resulted from service errors, and Louisville held a 5-4 lead. The Cardinals led by as much as five in the second set, but Florida came back to tie the match at 11.
A block assist by middle blocker Darrielle King and setter Marlie Monserez opened an 8-0 run for the Gators. The run was aided by three attack errors by the Cardinals, and the Gators gained a lead they would not relinquish. Consecutive kills by Carlton put the second set away for Florida.
The Gators took over the third set after surrendering the first three points. They went on an 8-2 run for an 8-5 lead early in the set. After a Louisville service ace to put the Cardinals within one, UF scored eight of the next 12 points for a commanding 16-10 lead.
The visitors racked up eight blocks in the third set and committed just two attack errors in a 25-21 win to finish off the sweep.
Hall was the only Gator with double-digit kills, but senior Rachael Kramer, junior Paige Hammons and Carlton combined for 19 kills. Kramer, Carlton and King accumulated 10 block assists, while libero Allie Gregory had 14 digs.
“This is going to be one of those wins that means even more down the road as a young Louisville team gains its experience,” said UF coach Mary Wise in a release. “We had lots of good performances to build on from the first match."
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Opposite/Setter Holly Carlton totaled six kills and five digs in Florida's sweep of Louisville.