Florida sat on the verge of another sweep. It led 21-17, but soon unraveled as the Aggies tied the set.
Texas A&M’s London Austin-Roark blasted two kills to help steal the [set?] 27-25.
The Gators found themselves up by the same score in the next set. Setter Marlie Monserez refused to allow Texas A&M to score another point. She recorded two aces and Aggies’ outside hitter Lauren Davis slammed two swings wide for Florida to clinch the third set.
The Gators flustered Texas A&M in the fourth set to secure the 3-1 match victory Thursday in College Station, Texas.
Texas A&M executed its gameplan — target outside hitter T’ara Ceasar — to perfection in the first set. The redshirt junior struggled to pass the ball as the Aggies hammered swings toward her.
They used their blueprint and three Gators service errors to take a slim 15-14 lead into the media timeout. Outside hitter Thayer Hall found her footing in the match. She notched three kills to lift Florida to an 11-4 run to take the 25-19 first-set victory.
Hall led all Florida players with five blocks and the team registered three blocks.
The Gators started the second set sluggish to fall behind by a couple of points. But a freshman libero Elli McKissock, two Ceasar kills and three Aggies attack errors helped them to a 6-0 run to take a 9-5 lead. Texas A&M answered as it surged back to trim UF’s lead to 14-13.
Florida responded with a 6-2 spurt after a coach Mary Wise timeout to continue the runs. The Aggies rallied back with a 7-3 run to cut UF’s lead to 23-22. Both squads traded points back and forth until Texas A&M tied it at 25.
The Aggies’ Austin-Roark and Treyaunna Rush added back-to-back kills to steal the second set. Rush totaled seven kills in the frame.
UF and Texas A&M traded blows in the third set as Florida held the 15-14 lead at the media timeout.
The Aggies finally faltered as a middle blocker Lauren Forte kill and two errors gave the Gators the 19-16 lead. A Monserez and outside hitter Paige Hammons ace pushed Florida to three points from the third-set win. Texas A&M’s Lauren Davis committed two attack errors as Monserez tallied her second ace of the set to clinch the third set.
The Gators overwhelmed their opponents in the fourth set. They busted out to a 14-7 lead and cruised to a 25-13 fourth-set dub and match victory.
Four Florida players tallied double-digit kills as the team collected a .305 hitting percentage. UF finished the regular season 19-3 and only lost one match in the spring season to No. 3 Kentucky. The Gators only allowed the Aggies to hit .152 and recorded 11 blocks. Right side Holly Carlton finished second on the team in kills with 13.
Wise said that she made the difference and performed excellent in the match.
It heads to a bubble-like atmosphere in Omaha, Nebraska. NCAA postseason matches will be held there from April 14-24. The Selection Show can be seen April 4 on ESPN.
Contact Zachary Huber at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @zacharyahuber