Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Friday, September 29, 2023

No. 3 Florida defeats FSU in rivalry match

AC Fitzpatrick set a new career-high for kills with 22

Freshman outside hitter Kennedy Martin spikes the ball in the Gators' 3-0 win against the Winthrop Eagles Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.
Freshman outside hitter Kennedy Martin spikes the ball in the Gators' 3-0 win against the Winthrop Eagles Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.

Despite losses in sets one and three, the Gators battled to force a fifth set and a chance to stay undefeated. 

In the final moments of set five an unruly call was made in Florida State’s favor that a serve from FSU redshirt-sophomore libero Addi Hultquist had hit the tips of sophomore setter Alexis Stucky’s fingers.

However, the call did not hold UF back from continuing to win the match. A kill from senior outside hitter Sofia Victoria sealed the win for Florida in the tough rivalry battle.

The No. 3 Florida Gators (8-0) beat the Florida State Seminoles (5-4) 3-2 on the road in Tallahassee. Senior outside hitter AC Fitzpatrick led the way for UF with a career-high 18 kills.

Florida State quickly took control of the opening set with four consecutive kills after Fitzpatrick failed to make point-saving blocks. Gators freshman outside hitter Kennedy Martin fought back and motioned Florida’s first kill of the match. 

FSU stayed fired up in set one and pushed its lead to 8-2 after juniors middle blocker Khori Louis and outside hitter Audrey Koenig strung together two kills. The Gators’ offense failed to make point-saving dives toward the back of the court. 

Florida trailed by four early into set one but managed to push their score to 11-7 after two attack errors from the Noles allowed them to gain a two-point advantage. 

Martin and junior middle back Gabrielle Essix fueled powerful blocks to force an attack error for FSU sophomore Audrey Rothman, but it wasn't enough to keep Koenig from another kill.

Florida trailed 22-16 in the final moments of set one. An attack error from graduate student outside hitter Anna Dixon allowed the Seminoles to gain set point as she hit the ball into the net with hopes of hitting it over. 

A call on whether Stucky hit the antenna on the net or not was ruled in FSU’s favor and helped the Noles secure the first set win, 25-18. 

Despite a slow start in set one, Martin brought the momentum in set two and sealed the first kill. A service error from Koenig kept the Gators in the lead early into set two, 7-5. Florida started to fall behind in a grueling second set and collapsed under the pressure of the Seminoles’ offense. 

An attack error from FSU freshman right-side hitter Maddie Snider put the Gators back in the lead 16-15, but UF’s slim lead was shortly tied at 16 apiece after a kill by Seminoles junior middle blocker Kiari Robey.  

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

A service ace from UF sophomore libero Emily Cannan and a kill from Victoria pushed the Gators’ lead to 22-21 late into set two. Martin tipped the ball onto the Noles’ side of the court for her 10th kill of the match to set the game at match point. 

An FSU service error from graduate student setter Andjelija Draskovic gave Florida the set win 25-22. 

Florida State capitalized on Florida’s series of attack errors and quickly gained an 8-5 lead in set three. A kill sealed from Victoria pushed the Gators’ score to 12-9, and UF took marginal advantage of open blocks for Martin to motion a kill. 

An attack error from Snider tied the game at 20 apiece, and a kill from Rothan put the Noles back in the lead. A fierce kill from Robey pushed FSU’s score to 23-22 in the final moments of set three. 

Koenig sealed a kill to set the match point for the Noles. A kill from Louis led to a second set win for FSU 25-23 after the ball traced the tips of Cannan’s fingers, but slipped away. 

Florida battled in the fourth set and led 7-3 early with two service aces from Martin to fire the Gators ahead. A series of attack errors from the Noles and a deep center kill from Martin pushed Florida’s lead to 13-9. 

An attack error from Martin led to four consecutive kills unanswered by Florida to push FSU’s score to 18-14. A powerful block from UF senior middle back Nnedi Okammor and a kill by Victoria set the match point for the Gators 24-17. A service ace from Stucky forced a fourth set win, 25-17. 

Fitzpatrick tied her career high of 18 kills with the first point in set five. The Gators led 5-2 early into the set due to FSU attack errors. A service error from Stucky pulled the Noles to within two-points of the Gators. 

An attack error from Martin where she hit the ball out of bounds and a kill from senior right-side hitter Sydney Conley put FSU back in the lead, 11-10. A service ace from Martin put the Gators back in the lead 12-11 after her ball was too high for the Noles to gain reach. 

A service error from Hultquist gave Florida match point. Then a kill from Victoria sealed the Gators win 16-14 in the fifth set. 

UF will play No. 1 Wisconsin Sunday at 3 p.m. home in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The match will be streamed on ESPN+. 

Contact Alyssa Britton-Harr at Follow her on Twitter @abrittonharr.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Alyssa Britton-Harr

Alyssa Britton-Harr is a second-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spending time with her friends. 

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.