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Friday, February 03, 2023

Florida volleyball caps off Gators Invitational with sweep over Ragin’ Cajuns

<p>Sophomore outside hitter Thayer Hall was named the MVP of the Gators Invitational this weekend.</p>

Sophomore outside hitter Thayer Hall was named the MVP of the Gators Invitational this weekend.

You don’t have to go far to see the last time Florida nailed back-to-back-to-back sweeps over its opponents.

The last time the Gators notched three consecutive sweeps over its rivals late last season into the 2018 NCAA Tournament over Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State and South Carolina.

And that clock was reset Sunday afternoon as UF swept the Ragin’ Cajuns (25-15, 25-14, 25-18) and finished off its non-conference schedule, adding to its two other sweeps over Liberty and Northern Arizona earlier in the weekend.

Redshirt junior right-side attacker Holly Carlton led the leaderboard Saturday afternoon with 11 kills (and only one error) against Louisiana, notching a .345 hitting percentage.

Sophomore outside hitter Thayer Hall also had a solid afternoon with 10 kills on 34 swings. Her 10 kills combined with yesterday’s 23 for a total of 33 on the weekend. Hall was named MVP for the tournament.

Sophomore Lauren Dooley and redshirt junior Darrelle King split time in the middle with senior Rachael Kramer, with the trio combining for 10 kills on the afternoon for a .355 hitting percentage. Kramer herself logged four blocks on the match.

Allie Gregory notched a career-high 24 digs against the Ragin’ Cajuns as she helped keep things in control defensively for her team.

Florida’s 70 digs (as a team) in its match against Louisiana on Saturday tied a previous mark dating back to 1998 for the seventh-most digs on a three-set match in Florida history.

Coach Mary Wise said before the tournament that she wanted to see more consistency with her team this weekend, and she got it.

She liked the passing she saw against Liberty’s serving Friday afternoon and against Northern Arizona. Wise also felt the team had a better understanding defensively on the blocking front that forced the team into some secondary shots it wouldn’t have utilized as much otherwise in the second half of Florida’s double-header Friday night.  

Following this weekend’s three-game tournament, No. 11 Florida (9-2) will take the week to prepare for its first SEC opponent on Friday against Auburn.

The Gators will take on Auburn at home and follow up with its second conference matchup on Sept. 29 against Georgia to finish up its three-week stint on home turf.  

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Follow Mari Faiello on Twitter @faiello_mari. Contact her at mfaiello@alligator.org.  

Sophomore outside hitter Thayer Hall was named the MVP of the Gators Invitational this weekend.

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