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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Sunshine Invitational

Florida's offense drills 37 kills in sweep vs. VCU

146 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The 16th-ranked Florida volleyball team ended the Sunshine Invitational with a sweep over the Virginia Commonwealth Rams on Saturday afternoon at Exactech Arena.

The Gators came out strong in the first set, taking it 25-17and then followed with another 25-17 victory in the second frame. UF clinched the match with a 25-20 win in the final set to extend its win streak to three-straight matches.

Elli McKissock was named the All-Tournament MVP, while teammates Bre Kelley and Alexis Stucky found themselves on the All-Tournament Team.

Florida's offensive attack was led by a 10-kill effort from AC Fitzpatrick - a personal-best for the junior in a Gator jersey - while Birdie Hendrickson and Bre Kelley pitched in seven kills apiece.

Alexis Stucky posted 27 assists in the three-setter, to go along with 10 digs for her second double-double of the season.

At the net, the Gators tallied 8.0 blocks as a squad and held the Rams to a .065 clip in the match. Gabrielle Essix posted a team-high six blocks, while Hendrickson added three blocks of her own. Kelley, Fitzpatrick and Marina Markova each recorded two blocks in the victory.

UF's backcourt was led by a 16-dig performance from Elli McKissock, while Emily Canaan pitched in a career-high 11 in the match. Hendrickson added an additional seven digs, while Trinity Adams came up with six in the sweep.

Behind the service line, the Gators recorded eight aces, including three from Canaan. Hendrickson (2) and Emerson Hoyle (1) each recorded a career-high in aces during the match.

The Gators are back in action on Tuesday against Florida State for the Sunshine Showdown Presented by Fresh From Florida. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

Records No. 16 Florida (6-2) VCU (4-5)

How It Happened

  • The Gators held the early advantage in the first set, but VCU started slowly chipping away at the four-point lead, tying the frame at 14-all. Florida took the 15-14 lead into the media timeout and from that point on, closed the set on a 10-3 run thanks in part to service runs from Canaan and McKissock.
  • UF hit .387 in the first set, led by four kills apiece from Hendrickson and Kelley. Florida also held the Rams to just a .156 clip in the opening frame.
  • The second set was a tight contest from the jump and once again, the Gators only took a one-point lead into the media timeout. Almost identical to the first set ending, Florida came out of that break on a 10-3 run and a service ace from Birdie Hendrickson capped off the frame 25-17, allowing the Gators to pull ahead 2-0 in the match.
  • The hitting percentages for both teams did not reach above .100 in the second set, but Fitzpatrick led the way with four kills for Florida to pull out the victory.
  • The final frame of the afternoon looked very similar to the first two, with the teams trading points to start and Florida taking the 15-14 lead into the media break. Coming out of the timeout, McKissock led the Gators on a 4-0 service run to take the 19-14 advantage. It looked like smooth sailing the rest of the way for Florida after a Hendrickson service run put them ahead seven at 22-16. The Rams pulled back to within four at 24-20, but a VCU service error capped off the sweep for Florida.
  • The Gators finished the match with a .212 hitting efficiency in the third set, led by three kills from Fitzpatrick. Hendrickson, Essix and Markova each pitched in two to close out the match.
Notables
  • Emerson Hoyle recorded the first ace of her Gator career
  • Birdie Hendrickson registered a career-high seven kills in the match
  • AC Fitzpatrick's 10 kills were the highest she has produced in a Gator jersey
  • Emily Canaan posted a career-high 11 digs, surpassing her previous best of six
  • Alexis Stucky recorded the second double-double of her career, finishing with 27 assists and 10 digs
  • With her 16 digs, Elli McKissock moved to 24th in program history with 908 career digs
  • The Gators improve to 1-0 against the Rams in the all-time series
  • Florida is now 4-0 in three-set matches during the 2022 campaign

Thoughts from Coach Wise "Three wins this weekend against three opponents that will be in the hunt for their league title. It was a great opportunity for us this early in the season against teams that might have a chance to be playing in December."

Up Next The Gators return to Exactech Arena on Tuesday for the Sunshine Showdown presented by Fresh From Florida against the Florida State Seminoles First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on ESPNU