WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After American University grabbed the first set from the No. 4 Gators 26-24, it was all Florida for the next three in a 3-1 victory for the Orange and Blue (2-0) in Washington, D.C. The Gators' win Sunday gave the University of Florida volleyball program its 900th all-time victory, 744 of those belonging to head coach Mary Wise.
Three double-doubles from seniors Mackenzie Dagostino (52A, 14D), Živa Recek (10K, 10D) and sophomore Carli Snyder (10K, 11D), highlighted the weekend finale for Florida (24-26, 25-20, 25-15, 25-23) in a packed and raucous Bender Arena, which set a new attendance record for the D.C. area universities at 2,629.
DMV natives Rhamat Alhassan, Alex Holston and Simone Antwi put on for the home crowd, Alhassan with 12 kills and nine blocks -- one shy of a double-double -- while Holston led all players on the floor with 18 kills and 21 points off of two block assists and two service aces. Antwi chipped in nine kills, a block and two digs for the Orange and Blue.
After UF evened the match at the break and handily took set three in 25-15 fashion, the Gators and Eagles (3-1) went wire-to-wire in the fourth and final set. American led nearly the whole way until Florida hit the gas after an Eagle kill that made the score 23-18 in favor of AU. The Gators put up seven straight points -- three being Holston kills -- and never looked back to win the fourth 25-23.
In addition to Dagostino, Recek and Snyder contributions on the defensive front with double-digit digs, senior libero Nikki O'Rourke also put up 13 scoops in the team effort.
Florida continues its season-opening road swing at the VERT Challenge in Austin, Texas, next weekend before heading straight to Honolulu for the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge. First up, the Orange and Blue will take on its first two ranked opponents of the season at Gregory Gym in Austin with No. 13 Oregon and host No. 3 Texas Friday and Saturday, respectivel