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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Gators volleyball defeats the Hornets to stay undefeated

AC Fitzpatrick hit 18 kills in the win

The Gators volleyball team celebrates during the third set in their 3-2 victory against the Sacramento State Hornets Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023.
The Gators volleyball team celebrates during the third set in their 3-2 victory against the Sacramento State Hornets Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023.

Florida volleyball led the final set 14-7 after a grueling battle against Sacramento State. The Gators were at match point. 

A series of service and attack errors from the Sacramento State Hornets brought the Gators their last two points. 

Fans stood up ready for the match point and the coming Florida victory. Junior defensive specialist Trinity Adams stood and served a service ace to claim the set and match victory 15-7. 

The No. 3 Florida Gators (5-0) defeated the Sacramento State Hornets (5-2) 3-2 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for their first Gators Invitational game Thursday night. 

Set one proved tough for the Gators. A series of Florida errors offered the Hornets a slim lead at 8-4. Freshman outside hitter Kennedy Martin’s kill triggered a four-point streak. UF still fell short after a service ace from Sacramento State outside hitter junior Ellie Tisko brought the score to 13-10. 

Hornets sophomore setter Kate Doorn service ace kept their lead at 16-13 but Gators senior outside hitter AC Fitzpatrick responded with two consecutive kills. Florida’s error-filled offense and two successful Sacramento challenges brought the Hornets the first set win, 25-23. 

Adams started set two strong for the Gators with a service ace. UF claimed its first lead in the second set after Fitzpatrick motioned a kill to make the score 5-4. Sacramento State refused to back down with multiple kills to tie the set nine apiece.

Fitzpatrick and Martin renewed Florida’s lead with three kills and a service ace to bring the score to 15-11. The Hornets’ delayed blocks failed to help them climb back from their deficit, and the Gators brought home the set win 25-17. 

Florida found their momentum in set three with a seven-point streak to open the set. Sophomore setter Alexis Stucky’s block and a Hornet attack error held the Gator lead at 11-4. 

After using its second timeout, Sacramento State found its rhythm and narrowed the scoring gap to five. But UF’s strong offense created another scoring streak to bring the set 20-7. The Hornets attempted to come back in the final moments of the set but Adams’ double service aces quickly secured the Florida win, 25-9. 

Despite a two-set advantage, UF trailed at the start of set four 4-1. A successful Fitzpatrick kill and three consecutive Hornet attack errors brought the Gators back in front, 5-4. Florida senior outside hitter Sofia Victoria’s kill tied the set at nine. 

A number of kills and errors on both teams kept the set close until Sacramento State senior outside hitter Bridgette Smith hit three kills to bring the Hornets back into the lead at 22-18. A block error by Dixon and a final kill by Tisko forced a fifth set with a 25-21 Sacramento State victory. 

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UF carried the fifth set with another seven-point starting streak. A quick Sacramento State timeout brought the Hornets two points, but Dixon’s kill ended their streak for an 8-3 Florida lead.

After a quick side switch, the Hornets returned with two quick points led by Florida service errors. A Sacramento service error launched a three-point streak to claim a Gator set victory 15-7. 

The Gators will take on the Clemson Tigers Friday at 7 p.m. for their second Gators Invitational game in the O’Dome. 

Contact Krisha Sanghavi at Follow her on Twitter @krishasang.

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Krisha Sanghavi

Krisha Sanghavi is a third-year public relations and economics major. In her free time, she loves cheering on Miami sports teams and spending time with her friends.

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