TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 6 Florida finished off its SEC opening weekend with a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-14, 25-19) at Alabama Sunday in Foster Auditorium to improve to 12-1 on the season with an undefeated start to SEC play.
The Gators added their 12th straight victory behind an Allie Monserez double-double and a potent Florida offense that hit .375 with three Gators, Rhamat Alhassan (.625), Rachael Kramer (.727) and Alex Holston (.444), all above a .400 clip. The Orange and Blue posted 11 blocks to Alabama's three and held the Crimson Tide to a .196 efficiency with their stability in the back row.
Monserez served up a career-tying three aces to accompany 10 digs and 43 assists, her most in a three-set match this season. Holston posted a team best 15.0 points and Shainah Joseph had a season high four blocks as Florida maintained its undefeated record all-time against Bama (42-0).
In a close first set, it was a battle of the right sides, Holston with five kills and Alabama's Krystal Rivers with nine. After Florida got out to a 9-4 lead, Bama climbed within one point at 12-13, but that's as close as the Crimson Tide would get. A late Alabama rally narrowed the Florida advantage 23-21 until the veterans, Holston and Alhassan, struck to finish it off 25-22.
Florida cruised through the second with a number of highlights, including four blocks and a .452 efficiency. Joseph was alive on the block en route to a season best day for her at the net. The Gators strung together a 6-0 run through the heart of the frame, thanks in part to Sam Dubiel behind the service line. The Orange and Blue were potent on the block with roofs at points 14, 16 and 17 to help keep momentum in the Gators' favor down the stretch. Two straight Monserez service aces and kills from Kramer and Carli Snyder closed it out for the 2-0 UF lead at the break
The Orange and Blue finished it off with a 25-19 third frame for the Gators' first sweep in SEC play and their eighth 3-0 victory so far in 2016.
Florida will have a quick turnaround with SEC foe Kentucky heading to Gainesville Wednesday for an 8 p.m. SEC Network mid-week clash in the Lemerand Center.
WORDS FROM WISE
"To come in and beat this Alabama team, which was on such a great run and played so well on Friday night, speaks volumes about our preparation and execution."
No. 6 Florida: 12-1
ON THE HORIZON
After the weekend road trip to open SEC play at Ole Miss and Alabama, the Orange and Blue will open the conference season at home against foe Kentucky Wednesday in the Lemerand Center. First serve between the Gators and Wildcats is slated for 8 p.m. on SEC Network with Sam Gore and Missy Whittemore on the call. As always, Gator fans can catch the action on ESPN Gainesville (95.3 FM / AM 850) with Tom Collett and Josh Crow.