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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

No. 11 Florida duo brings the heat against Aggies

82 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - The No. 11 Florida volleyball team downed the Texas A&M Aggies in four sets on Saturday evening in Reed Arena.

The Gators extend their win streak to five-straight matches, moving to 20-4 overall and 12-2 in the SEC. Texas A&M drops to 12-14 on the year and 4-11 in league play.

With the victory, UF remains atop the SEC standings with four matches left to play, holding the one-match lead over second-place Kentucky (11-2).

Florida has now won 20 matches in 32-straight seasons, the longest active streak in the nation by nine years (Western Kentucky).

The Gators opened up the match with a 25-18 victory in the first and then followed with a 25-16 win in the second frame. Texas A&M responded with a 25-16 victory in the third set, but the Gators answered with a 25-20 win in the fourth to clinch the match.

Merritt Beason led the offensive attack on Saturday evening, finishing with a 15-kill performance. Sofia Victoria followed with 13 kills and a .435 clip of her own, while Texas native Bre Kelley pitched in eight in the victory.

Freshman setter Alexis Stucky dished out 40 assists in the match, leading the team to a .241 clip on the evening.

As a team, the Gators held the Aggies to just a .115 hitting efficiency in the match - the 11th opponent Florida has kept below a .150 clip this season. UF tallied 13.0 blocks in the four-setter, with Kelley registering a team-high seven blocks. Beason and Victoria each added four blocks apiece in the win, while Gabrielle Essix and Stucky posted three blocks apiece.

In the backcourt, Elli McKissock led the way for Florida, finishing with 15 digs in the four-setter. Emily Canaan added nine of her own in her home state, while Trinity Adams pitched in seven digs on the evening.

Behind the service line, Beason tied her career-high with four aces, followed by one apiece from Adams and McKissock.

The Gators conclude the home portion of their schedule with a two-match series against the Kentucky Wildcats beginning on Nov. 19. Saturday's match is slated for a 4 p.m. start on SEC +, while Sunday's matchup is set for 2 p.m. on SEC Network.

Records

  • No. 11 Florida (20-4, 12-2 SEC)
  • Texas A&M (12-14, 4-11 SEC)

How It Happened

  • The Gators jumped out to the 6-2 lead in the first set, controlling the tempo of the opening frame early, but the Aggies battled back to knot the first at 9-all. Florida extended its lead back to three going into the media timeout, grabbing the 15-12 advantage heading into the break. Following the timeout, a service run by Beason gave Florida the 19-12 lead and the Gators were able to cruise to the 25-18 victory to open the match.
  • The Gators hit .320 in the first frame, led by five kills from Beason and three from Victoria.
  • Florida carried its momentum from the first set into the second, taking the 9-3 lead following a 5-0 Beason service run to force a Texas A&M timeout. Out of the break, the Gators continued to roll, pulling ahead as many as 12 points at the 15-3 mark to once again force a timeout by the Aggies. Texas A&M chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to six at 17-11 to cause Florida to use its first timeout of the second set. The Gators took the 2-0 match lead after going on an 8-5 run to close out the frame.
  • UF hit .429 in the second set, led by four kills from Victoria.
  • Texas A&M controlled the third set from the start, taking the 5-1 lead early to force a Florida timeout. The Gators cut the deficit to just two at 6-4, but the Aggies held UF at a distance of at least four points the rest of the way, claiming the 25-16 victory to force a fourth set.
  • Beason posted a team-high three kills in the third set, followed by two apiece from Essix and Kelley.
  • The fourth set was a back-and-forth battle from the start, with neither team holding more than a two-point advantage until the Gators took the 15-12 advantage into the media timeout. Following the break, Florida kept Texas A&M at bay, pulling ahead five at the 18-13 mark. The Aggies cut UF's lead to just three at 23-20, forcing a Florida timeout, but the Gators held on for the 25-20 victory to clinch the match.
  • UF hit .281 in the final frame, led by five kills apiece from Beason and Victoria.

Notables

  • Merritt Beason tallied 15 kills in the match, her 17th match with double-digit kills
  • Beason also recorded four service aces on the evening, tying her career-high
  • Sofia Victoria registered 13 kills in the match, her 12th match with double-digit kills
  • Elli McKissock recorded her 20th match in double-digit digs, recording 15 on the evening
  • The Gators improve to 21-1 in the all-time series against the Aggies
  • Florida has now won at least 20 matches in 32-straight seasons, the longest streak in the nation by nine years
  • UF is improves to 8-0 in four-set matches against Texas A&M
  • The Gators improve to 10-1 in College Station, Texas
  • Florida is now 6-1 in four-set matches during the 2022 campaign
  • With her 15 digs, Elli McKissock moved into 12th place in program history, sitting at (1,113). During the match, she surpassed both Jane Collymore (1,125) and Ashley Mullis (1,116)

Thoughts from Coach Wise

  • "A&M played very inspired and for us to win that match, it took us making some big plays at key times."

Up Next

  • The Gators conclude the home portion of their schedule with a two-match series against the Kentucky Wildcats beginning on Nov. 19
  • Saturday's match is slated for a 4 p.m. start on SEC +, while Sunday's matchup is set for 2 p.m. on SEC Network
  • Sunday's match will serve as Senior Day for Florida's senior class