GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The 12th-ranked Florida volleyball team swept the Alabama State Hornets (25-10, 25-16, 25-20) during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.
Florida moves to 23-0 in the first round of the tournament and improves to 56-7 in tournament games played in Gainesville, Fla.
The Gators were led on the offensive front by Paige Hammons and Mia Sokolowski, who both pitched in 10 kills on the evening. Rachael Kramer added eight on the night, while Holly Carlton registered seven kills of her own.
Marlie Monserez conducted the offense, dishing out 35 assists and leading the team to a .412 clip.
Allie Gregory led the backcourt defense, recording 17 digs on the night. That pushed her into sixth place in program history with 1,358. Hammons added the next highest dig total - posting eight in the match.
As a team, Florida registered 5.0 blocks, led by three from Kramer.
Hammons and Riley Fischer led behind the service line, each posting two service aces in the match.
The Gators are back in action Friday night against UCF at 7 p.m. for NCAA Tournament second round action. UCF defeated Florida State in five sets prior to Florida's match.
No. 12 Florida (26-4) Alabama State (17-22)
How it Happened
Florida jumped out to the early 7-2 lead in the first set, thanks in part to the serving of Holly Carlton. The Gators continued to hold the momentum, grabbing a nine-point lead at the 15-6 mark. UF built its lead to 13 at 22-9, then closed out the frame on a 3-1 run to secure the set.
- The Gators hit .560 in the first frame, led by three kills apiece from Paige Hammons, Holly Carlton and Marlie Monserez.
The two squads were trading points to begin the second set, but Alabama State utilized a 4-0 run to force Florida to use a timeout at the 11-7 mark. Out of the break, the Gators went on a 6-2 run to tie the frame at 13-13. From that point on, Florida closed out the mark on a 12-3 spurt - thanks to the serves of Paige Hammons - to go up 2-0 in the match.
- The Gators hit .393 in the frame, led by five kills from Sokolowski. Hammons added three, while Kramer and Carlton both pitched in two in the set.
Florida never trailed in the final set of the match, taking the early 11-7 lead. Riley Fischer helped the Gators extend their lead, recording back-to-back service aces to force Alabama State to use its second timeout of the frame at 15-8. Alabama State clawed its way back to within two at 18-16, but the Gators utilized a 7-4 run to close out the frame and the match.
- Florida hit .312 in the final frame, led by four kills apiece by Kramer and Hammons. Darrielle King added three of her own in the set.
- Allie Gregory now holds sole possession of sixth place in program history with 1,358 digs, surpassing Roni Armeda (1,354)
- Mary Wise earned the 957th win of her career, tying her for 11th all-time in NCAA history (across all divisions) with Mick Haley
- The Gators move to 4-0 against Alabama State, with all four wins coming in the NCAA Tournament
- Florida improves to 4-0 in three-set matches against the Hornets
- The Gators are now 74-29 in NCAA Tournament games, including a 73-28 record under Mary Wise Florida continues its streak of being unbeaten in the first round of play, moving to 23-0
- UF has now won 26 matches this season, the 27th season in Mary Wise's tenure that the Gators have achieved that feat
- Florida improves to 17-2 in three-set matches this season
Thoughts from Coach Wise
"Moving on the round of 32. It may not have had the drama as the first match had tonight, but you have two teams advancing and that's the key. The most important thing for us as a team is that we are moving on tomorrow."
- The Gators are set to face UCF on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
- First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on the SEC Network +
- The Gators are looking to advance to their 26th Regional Semifinal