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Friday, February 03, 2023

No. 22 Florida travels to Fayetteville for back-to-back matches against Arkansas

The Gators look to extend their winning streak against the Razorbacks Friday and Saturday

Florida's T'ara Ceasar during a game against Mississippi State on Sept. 24.
Florida's T'ara Ceasar during a game against Mississippi State on Sept. 24.

After defeating Tennessee 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16) Thursday, the No. 22 Gators volleyball team looks to extend their winning streak in a double header against the Razorbacks Friday and Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

Outside hitter T’ara Ceasar broke UF’s point record for a four-set match in Florida’s win over the Lady Volunteers. The redshirt senior recorded 31.5 points, which included a season-high 25 kills and a .352 hitting percentage . Her astounding performance led her to be named SEC Overall Player of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week. 

Libero Elli McKissock and outside hitter Merritt Beason also earned conference honors this week. McKissock was named Defensive Player of the Week after her team-high 26 digs, averaging 6.50 digs per set and 2.25 assists per set in the four-setter. 

Beason earned her second SEC Freshman of the Week honor after her performance over Tennessee. The Gardendale, Alabama, native recorded a career-high 11 digs and dished out an average of 2.25 kills per set, 2.75 digs per set and one block per set in the match. 

 The Razorbacks (17-6, 8-4 SEC) enter Friday’s match on a three-game winning streak. Arkansas defeated Alabama 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20) on Sunday. Outside hitter Taylor Head slammed down a team-best 18 kills for a .548 hitting percentage, followed closely by outside hitter Jillian Gillen with 15 kills. 

The Gators (15-6, 9-2 SEC) lead the series over the Razorbacks 46-3. In their last meeting on March 6, Florida swept Arkansas 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-18) in Gainesville. 

The first serve for Friday’s match is scheduled for 8 p.m. and Saturday’s match will begin at 6 p.m. Both matches can be streamed on SEC Network+.

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

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