The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship - First Round

Balanced attack leads No. 12 Gators into second round

119 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 3-seeded Florida volleyball team started the NCAA Tournament off on a high note, sweeping the Florida A&M Rattlers in Exactech Arena on Friday night.

The Gators improve to 24-5 on the year and advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the 29th time in program history. Florida A&M's season comes to a close with a 21-13 record after winning the SWAC Championship.

Florida took the first two sets handily, 25-15, 25-15 and then finished the night with a 25-9 victory in the third set.

The Gators' offense was extremely balanced on Friday night, with Gabrielle Essix posting a team-high eight kills. Sofia Victoria and Bre Kelley each followed with seven kills of their own, while Marina Markova (6) and Merritt Beason (6) combined for 12.

Alexis Stucky led the team to a .395 clip, while dishing out 33 assists in the three-setter.

Florida held the Rattlers to just a .049 efficiency on the night, the 13th opponent this season that the Gators have kept below a .150 performance this season.

As a team, the Gators recorded 6.5 blocks, led by a three-block effort from Kelley. Essix, Markova and Beason all registered two in the victory.

Elli McKissock paced the backcourt defense for Florida, recording 17 on the night - a three-set high for a Florida player this season. Stucky followed with five, while Beason pitched in four in the victory.

Behind the service line, the Gators tallied 10 aces. Emily Canaan had a career performance, recording five aces on the night. Beason added three, while McKissock and Emerson Hoyle each pitched in one.

No. 12 Florida improved to 24-5 after finishing 15-3 in the SEC. Florida A&M, which went 15-1 in the SWAC, finishes its season 21-13 overall.


  • Elli McKissock's 17 digs were a three-set high for the Gators in the 2022 campaign.
  • Emily Canaan recorded a career-high five aces on the night.
  • Florida is now 25-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Gators improve to 80-32 in the NCAA Tournament, including a 79-31 record under Mary Wise.
  • Florida improves to 13-0 against Florida A&M in the all-time series UF improves to 13-0 in three-set matches against the Rattlers.
  • The Gators are now 6-0 in the NCAA Tournament against Florida A&M.
  • Florida improves to 14-2 in three-set matches during the 2022 campaign.
  • Florida remains unbeaten in Friday matches, moving to 9-0 on the year.

Up Next

Florida returns to action for the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Gators are set to face off against the No. 6 seeded Iowa State Cyclones on ESPN+.