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Saturday, January 28, 2023

No. 22 Florida travels to Athens to face Bulldogs

The Gators matchup with Georgia for the 78th time in program history Wednesday

Florida's T'ara Ceasar and Marlie Monserez celebrate a point in Florida's game against Mississippi State on Sept. 24.
Florida's T'ara Ceasar and Marlie Monserez celebrate a point in Florida's game against Mississippi State on Sept. 24.

After back-to-back matches with Mississippi State the week prior, Florida is set to meet the other Bulldogs of the SEC, Georgia (4-8, 0-1), on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Athens, Georgia. 

The Gators (7-5, 1-1) split their conference-opening series with Mississippi State, both matches requiring five sets. Florida pulled out the Thursday night match 3-2 (25-17, 25-11, 16-25, 18-25, 15-13) but dropped the Friday night match 3-2 (17-25, 25-23, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13) for the program’s first ever loss to the Bulldogs. 

Outside hitter T’ara Ceasar led the way for the Gators both nights. The redshirt senior racked up 17 kills in each match and averaged a .250 hitting percentage. 

Georgia enters the match hungry for its first conference win. On Sept. 22, the Bulldogs were beaten by the Gamecocks in five sets, 3-2, in Columbia, South Carolina in a tight match full of momentum shifts. South Carolina found a final burst of energy and stole the victory with a 15-7 fifth set. 

Through the school's 77 all-time meetings, Florida holds a dominant 67-10 record. The Gators also hold a 28-4 record when playing in Athens. 

Setter Marlie Monserez ranks 14th in the nation in assists per set with 11. Additionally, Caesar comes in tied for 85th nationally with 3.73 kills per set. As a team, the Gators rank 14th nationally in hitting percentage at .283 and 19th in assists per set with 12.95. 

Wednesday night’s match inside Stegeman Coliseum can be watched on ESPNU. 

Contact Joseph Henry at jhenry@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @Josephhenry2424.

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Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry is a fourth-year sports journalism major and is the Alligator's sports editor. He previously worked as senior news director, assistant sports editor, men's basketball beat reporter, volleyball beat reporter and golf beat reporter. He enjoys sitting down to watch a movie as often as possible, collecting vinyl and drinking Dr. Pepper. 


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