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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Florida looks to continue home winning streak against No. 17 Baylor

The Gators will host the Bears on back-to-back days Friday and Saturday night

Florida's Marlie Monserez offers up a set during a game in 2019.
Florida's Marlie Monserez offers up a set during a game in 2019.

The Gators volleyball team looks to continue their home domination over the weekend. 

No. 7 Florida (4-1) will host No. 17 Baylor (1-3) at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center for back-to-back matches Friday and Saturday night. 

In its victorious home opener against No. 10 Minnesota, Florida senior setter Marlie Monserez racked up 14 digs and a season-high 56 assists. Monserez averaged 12.12 assists and 4.38 digs per set in the Gators last two matches, earning her SEC Player of the Week and SEC Setter of the Week. 

“[Marlie’s] picking up right where she left off at the end of the spring season,” head coach Mary Wise said. “Her game just continues to evolve, not in the major steps of a young setter but in fine tuning little things to just get that much better.”

The Gators offense fired off kills left and right against the Golden Gophers. Outside hitter T’ara Ceasar recorded a season-high 19 kills, middle blocker Lauren Forte and outside hitter Merritt Beason each dished out 16 kills of their own and outside hitter Thayer Hall ended the match with 11. 

Baylor is coming off of a three-game losing streak, falling to Wisconsin, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. The Bears’ outside hitter Yossiana Pressley led Baylor in kills (20), total attacks (54) and points (22) against the Panthers

Florida defeated Baylor the two previous times the teams met. The Gators swept the Bears 3-0 (15-11, 15-6, 15-4) in their last match on Sept. 13, 1991 in Fullerton, California. 

“As long as we can stay in control and have good ball control more often than them throughout the match, then I think that we will be very much prepared,” Ceasar said. 

The first serve of Friday’s match is set for 8 p.m. and can be streamed on SECN. The two teams take the court again in the O’Dome Saturday at 7 p.m. and can be streamed on SECN+. 

Contact Kaitlyn Wadulack at kwadulack@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter at @kwadulack.

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