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Monday, October 18, 2021

No. 17 Florida begins conference play against Mississippi State

The Gators hope to build off of last weekend’s momentum in this two-match series

<p>Gators volleyball coach Mary Wise shouts from the sideline </p>

Gators volleyball coach Mary Wise shouts from the sideline

The Gators volleyball team ended non-conference play on a high note after back-to-back sweeps against Coastal Carolina. 

Now No. 17 Florida (6-4) shifts gears in preparation for its first Southeastern Conference matchup of the 2021 season as it hosts the Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-3) for a two-match series. 

On Sunday, outside hitter Sofia Victoria led Florida’s offense with 14 kills. In the past three matches, the sophomore averaged 5.20 kills per set, with her best performance so far this season against Florida State, when she slammed down a career-high 24 kills in her first career start. Her impressive offensive dominance earned her SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors, the first of her career. 

Setter Marlie Monserez earned her second weekly conference honor this week after being named SEC Setter of the Week. The senior averaged 12.40 assists in Florida’s last three matches. In the Gators’ series against Coastal Carolina last weekend, Monserez recorded 74 total assists, moving her into seventh place in program history as she surpassed both Kris Bova (2,843) and her sister Allie Monserez (2,882).

Mississippi State travels to Gainesville after winning both its weekend matches. The Bulldogs secured a 3-1 win against South Alabama Saturday (25-18, 17-25, 25-13, 25-23) and swept Jackson State Sunday (25-8, 25-17, 25-20). 

The Gators have never fallen to the Bulldogs in program history, having won all 52 prior meetings. The two last faced off on Nov. 10, 2019 in Starkville, Mississippi, where the Gators swept the Bulldogs, 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-21). 

Both Thursday and Friday’s matches begin at 7 p.m in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Thursday’s match can be streamed on SEC Network +, while Friday’s will be streamed on SEC Network. 

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

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