COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Sophomore middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan, junior right side Alex Holston and sophomore outside hitter Carli Snyder led the No. 12 Gators offensively in a Friday night sweep at South Carolina in Columbia as the Orange and Blue improved to 16-4 on the season, 8-3 in Southeastern Conference play to extend UF's season-best win streak to seven matches.
Alhassan (11), Holston (11) and Snyder (10) all posted double-digit kills and hit above .400 on the night as the Gators defeated the Gamecocks (9-14, 2-8 SEC) in straight sets (25-22, 25-14, 25-21) at the Carolina Volleyball Center. UF hit .440 to South Carolina's .190, powered by Alhassan's .588 clip and a season-best .556 hitting efficiency from Holston.
In a closely contested first frame, the Gators used a 5-1 run in the middle of the set to break a 13-13 deadlock, but a feisty Gamecocks squad kept it even until the end. After a 21-all tie, Florida used kills from Alhassan and Snyder, while capitalizing on several Carolina errors for the 25-22 first-set victory.
In the second, a 6-0 serving spark from sophomore setter Abby Detering gave the Gators a boost to elevate from down one to up five at 13-8. Junior right side Alex Holston was also stellar from behind the service line to serve up the final six points in a 25-14 set-two decision in favor of the Orange and Blue.
UF completed its 11th sweep of the campaign with a 25-21 finale in the third to make it seven straight Gator victories.
Senior Simone Antwi posted a team-best four blocks on the defensive front to contribute to Florida's six on the night, while senior libero Nikki O'Rourke had 10 digs and was one of six Gators with scoops in the back row. Antwi turned in a .500 clip offensively with six kills to accompany her four roofs.
A tilt in Athens against Georgia Sunday will round out Florida's weekend road swing. First serve is 1:30 p.m. at the Ramsey Center.
"Tonight our offense really carried us, particularly the play of Rhamat, Alex and Carli. We saw some unconventional looks and didn't respond as precise defensively. We did enough things well offensively to win."
BY THE NUMBERS· 17 | Straight wins for the Gators against the Gamecocks with Friday's sweep. Florida now owns a 24-5 record all-time in Columbia
· 12 | Times this season UF has limited its opponents to a .200 efficiency or lower. Florida limited South Carolina to a .190 clip on Friday night
· 11 | Sweeps for Florida in 2015, including seven in SEC play. The Gators have swept six of their last seven matches
· 7 | Consecutive wins for Florida with Friday's sweep to extend the Gators' season-best win streak
· 3 | Gators with double-digit kills, paced by 11 from sophomore Rhamat Alhassan who led UF with a .588 hitting efficiency. Junior Alex Holston hit a season-best .556 with 11 kills, while sophomore Carli Snyder turned in 10 slams and a .429 clip
· 1 | UF checked in at No. 1 in this week's RPI rankings after playing a gruesome non-conference schedule that included seven straight matches on the road to start the season. Florida is additionally 4-2 against top-25 opponents in 2015
Next up for the Gators, a trip to Athens for the first and only Florida-Georgia match up of the season. On the UF-UGA front, it's been Florida-Georgia week for the Gators and Dawgs in four different sports: soccer (Thursday) and swimming & diving (Friday), while football (Saturday) and volleyball will wrap up the slate Saturday and Sunday. Florida and Georgia (5-16, 0-9 SEC) will tilt at 1:30 p.m. on SEC Network + to kick off November.
UF has won 11 consecutive meetings between the Gators and Dawgs and is 24-4 all-time in Athens.
UF | UGA SERIES HISTORY· 2015 Record: 5-16, 0-9 SEC
· Series Record: Florida leads, 58-9 (55-1 under Mary Wise) - Gators have won 11 straight
· 3-set: 42-4; 4-set: 13-2; 5-set: 3-3
· Home: 26-2 | Away: 24-4 | Neutral: 8-3
· Last Time Out: Oct. 29, 2014 at Athens | W, 3-0 (25-16, 25-8, 26-24)