In UF’s second contest in three days, Florida controlled its match and took home its 18th win of the season on the road against the unranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-17, 0-11 SEC), 25-18, 25-10, 25-15.
As a team, the Gators (18-1, 10-1 SEC) exploited the Bulldogs defense for a .405 hitting percentage. It was their best performance of the season from that perspective.
In addition to a season-high hitting percentage, UF accumulated seven aces and 11 blocks, something the Gators have had success with this season.
Sophomore Rachael Kramer led the way for the Gators, racking up 11 kills that led to a team-high .733 hitting percentage. After the game, Kramer said it was a good match overall on the road.
“We did great things on basically every position,” Kramer said. “Every position was balanced tonight. We got some great kills from our outsides, and really good defense from our back row.”
Outside hitters Carli Snyder and Shainah Joseph also had solid contributions. Snyder came through with eight kills and one of the Gators seven aces, as well as 17 digs in just three sets of play. Joseph was able to put away six of her 13 attack attempts and provide solid defense from her right side position.
Senior Rhamat Alhassan also came through on the defensive side, stuffing six shots in her three sets of play.
For Mississippi State, not much was happening as the Gators stifled its offense and found seams in the Bulldogs defense. With zero wins through SEC play so far, MSU was thoroughly dominated in the match. Only two players had more than five kills as the team hit for a .054 combined hitting percentage.
After the match, coach Mary Wise said there are some positive signs heading into their game on Wednesday against No. 6 Kentucky, which could be the do-or-die game for the Gators’ SEC title hopes.
“We identified some areas that we felt were deficiencies the first time we played Kentucky,” Wise said. “We’ve worked really hard in the past two weeks, and now we get a chance to see how much progress we’ve made.”
You can follow Justin Ahlum on Twitter @justinn_case1, and contact him at [email protected].