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Martin's program record powers Gators over Gamecocks

91 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 20th-ranked Florida Volleyball team defeated South Carolina in four (25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 25-17) on Wednesday afternoon inside the Exactech Arena. The Gators improve to 18-8, 10-7 SEC and South Carolina falls to 10-16, 4-13 SEC in the 2023 season.

Prior to the match, Florida honored its six seniors: Anna Dixon, AC Fitzpatrick, Kennedy Muff, Elli McKissock, Nnedi Okammor and Sofia Victoria.

Florida grabbed a 2-0 match lead after securing a 25-16 win in the opening set, followed by a 25-20 win in the second. South Carolina responded with a 25-22 win to push to a fourth set. The Gators came away with a 25-17 fourth-set victory to close out senior-day on a high note.

Freshman Kennedy Martin led the way offensively, posting 26 kills, AC Fitzpatrick followed with 14 and Sofia Victoria had nine of her own. Martin registers the most kills by a freshman in Florida history with 443 total kills surpassing Ziva Recek's 440 record that was set in 2012. Recek was named the AVCA National Freshman of the year in 2012.

Florida finished the four-setter with a .341 clip with the help from Kennedy Muff's 54 assists and libero Elli McKissock pitched in four of her own.

The Gators held South Carolina to a .168 hitting percentage, tallying 15 team blocks. Florida had three players finish with five or more blocks, Nnedi Okammor recorded eight, followed by Gabrielle Essix's seven. Martin ended with five in the four-setter.

Elli McKissock led Florida defensively with 20 digs, Emily Canaan finished with 11, Trinity Adams had nine and Kennedy Muff pitched in with eight to help seal the victory.

Florida tallied seven aces with McKissock and Sofia Victoria registering two aces a piece, while Adams, Martin and Muff each had one.

Florida travels to Lexington, Kentucky for its last regular-season match on Saturday for a top-20 matchup against the Wildcats. First serve is at 1 p.m. on SEC+.

Records

No. 20 Florida (18-8, 10-7 SEC)

South Carolina (10-16, 4-13 SEC)

How It Happened

  • Florida went on a 4-0 scoring run at the start of the opening set to take a 10-5 lead forcing South Carolina to take its first timeout. Out of the break, a kill from Martin increased the lead to 13-6 before the Gamecocks closed the gap back to five, but they wouldn't get any closer. The Gators were firing on all cylinders in the first with six players recording a kill as AC Fitzpatrick put one down for set-point and followed up with a block from her and Gabrielle Essix to close out set one with a 25-16 win.
  • The Gators held the Gamecocks to a .000 clip, while the Gators registered a .343 clip off 17 kills
  • Tied at five in the second set, back-to-back aces from Sofia Victoria made it 10-5 and South Carolina would call its first timeout. Out of the break, Florida went on a 3-0 scoring run behind Victoria's serve to extend the lead to 13-5. South Carolina went on a 3-0 scoring run of their own to cut the lead to four, but a kill from Nnedi Okammor ended the Gamecocks scoring rally. Florida grabbed the next two points, pushing to a 19-13 advantage and South Carolina called its final timeout. Out of the break, Florida kept the pace, as a solo block from Gabrielle Essix and an ace from Kennedy Martin made it 22-15. South Carolina didn't back down, getting within five, but a service error made it set-point for Florida where Fitzpatrick tipped one down the net to close out the second set with a 25-20 win and secure a 2-0 match lead.
  • Florida tallied five team-blocks, with Gabrielle Essix recording four of her own.
  • The Gators began the third set trailing 4-1, but got within one before South Carolina went on a 4-0 scoring run to take a 9-4 lead and Florida would call its first timeout of the match. A kill from Kennedy Martin ended the Gamecocks scoring rally followed by back-to-back kills from the freshman to force a South Carolina timeout still trailing 13-10. Out of the break, the Gators inched within one and the Gamecocks called their final timeout up 14-13. Florida tied it up at 16 and a back-row kill from Martin ended a hard-fought rally to take a one-point lead. The two teams went point-for-point and with the race to 25, Florida called a timeout trailing 22-21. South Carolina came away with the next three points to close out the third set with a 25-22 win.
  • There were eight ties and three lead changes in the third frame.
  • Florida regained its momentum, starting the fourth-set with a 4-0 scoring run to take a 7-2. Out of a South Carolina timeout, the Gamecocks inched within one, but a block from Essix and Muff ended their 4-0 scoring rally. The Gators put two points together for every South Carolina one to force the Gamecocks to take their final timeout trailing 16-11. Out of the timeout, maintained a five-point advantage and 3-0 scoring run behind Kennedy Muff's serving gave Florida a 25-17 fourth-set victory.
  • Martin had seven of Florida's 16 kills in the final frame

Notables

  • Kennedy Martin has registered the most kills of any freshman in Florida history with 443, Surpassing Ziva Recek's 440 kills she set as a freshman in 2012.
  • Kennedy Martin's 26 kills continues her streak of recording 10+ kills in every match this season.
  • Elli McKissock's 20­­­ digs puts her at 1,615 career digs (2nd in Florida History)
  • Her two aces move her to 104 career aces, which is tied for 20th in program history with Aurymar Rodriguez (1994-97)
  • She sits 25th in program history for career assists with 418
  • Two Gators finished in double-digit kills: Kennedy Martin with 26 and AC Fitzpatrick recorded her second double-digit kill match in a row, 15th this season, with 14 kills.
  • Florida set two, four-set team-highs
  • 83.0 points surpasses 77.0 at Texas A&M (10/20)
  • 60 assists top the 59 set against Penn State in August (8/25)
  • Kennedy Martin's 29.5 points is a new four-set individual season-high, surpassing her 29.0 she set against Kentucky (11/5)
  • Elli McKissock's 20 digs is a new four-set individual season high, surpassing her 19 she also set against Kentucky (11/5)
  • AC Fitzpatrick's two assists ties her career-high for the third time
  • The Gators are now 64-10 (56-4 under Wise) in all-time series against South Carolina
  • Florida improves to 13-4 in four-set matches against South Carolina
  • The Gators move to 33-1 against the Gamecocks in Gainesville, Fla.
  • UF is now 4-2 in four-set matches during the 2023 season

Thoughts from Coach Wise

  • "So grateful for the Gator Nation for having a great crowd to send off the seniors in our last regular-season home match."

Up Next

  • Florida travels to Lexington, Kentucky for its last regular-season match on Saturday for a top-20 matchup against the Wildcats. First serve is at 1 p.m. on SEC+.

No. 20 Florida vs. No. 10 Kentucky

Date & Time: Nov. 25 | 1 p.m.

Live Stream: SEC+ | Live Stats: Statbroadcast

Series Information - No. 20 Florida vs. No. 10 Kentucky

Wildcats | 2023 season: 17-7, 14-1 SEC

  • This is the 55th meeting between the Gators and the Wildcats
  • Florida leads 53-21 (51-14 under Mary Wise)
  • 3-set: 37-11 | 4-set: 9-3 | 5-set: 7-7
  • Home: 26-11 | Away: 23-9 | Neutral: 4-1
  • Last Time Out: Nov. 5, 2023 | Gainesville, Fla. | L, 1-3 (23-25, 25-20, 22-25, 18-25)