The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
VERT CHALLENGE

No. 4 Florida sweeps No. 11 Oregon in Austin

2489 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

AUSTIN, Texas. -- Senior middle Simone Antwi hit .867 with a team-best 13 kills and sophomore Alex Holston turned in her third career double-double with 10 kills and a career-tying 11 digs as the No. 4 Florida volleyball squad swept No. 11 Oregon (25-18, 25-19, 25-20) at Gregory Gym Friday for its first top-25 victory this season.

While the Gators' offense was hitting on all cylinders, senior libero Nikki O'Rourke led Florida's back-row efforts with a career-tying 19 digs as the Gators improved to 3-0 with their VERT Challenge opener. It won't get easier for the Orange and Blue this weekend as UF squares off with host team No. 3 Texas in a 3 p.m. (ET) clash Saturday afternoon.

Florida hit a season-best .440 against Oregon, including a staggering .607 in the third and final set, to serve the Ducks (5-1) their first loss this season. Senior setter Mackenzie Dagostino (46 assists) quarterbacked a UF offense that had four players with double-digit kills, including sophomore middle Rhamat Alhassan (11) and senior outside hitter Živa Recek (11) in addition to Antwi and Holston.

Alhassan had a team-best 13.5 points, chipping in a service ace and three blocks to complement her 11 kills and .500 hitting efficiency.

Paul Sunderland and Nell Fortner will have the Gators-Longhorns call on Longhorn Network Saturday, while Tom Collett will have all the action on ESPN Gainesville (FM 95.3, AM 850).

The weekend set in Austin counts as the Gators' second road trip of the season and is the middle stretch of a seven-match road strand to open the 2015 campaign before the Gators debut in the O'Dome Sept. 17. Florida and Oregon met Friday for the first time since 1996, while the Gators and Longhorns have a rich rivalry. Last season UF and UT went 1-1, as Texas took the match in Gainesville in September (3-0), while Florida claimed a thrilling five-setter in Austin in November (3-2). While the focus is on Austin this weekend, a dazzling trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, awaits the Orange and Blue next week.

"It was a match where our offense was right on track from the first contact," said Florida coach Mary Wise. "It was as well a setting performance for Mackenzie Dagostino as we've seen in her and our hitters made some great choices. Defensively it's such a challenge to play that elite of an offense. Today our offense really did its job."

In its second match of the VERT Challenge, the Gators will take on host No. 3 Texas in a 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday showdown.