Florida Volleyball Falls Again to Missouri
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Gatorzone.com) – In a top-10 battle between two of the most elite squads in the country, the No. 5 Florida volleyball team fell short to No. 7 Missouri in three sets (22-25, 23-25, 23-25) Fridayin the O’Connell Center, but a record crowd of 5,023 in the O’Dome – the 10th highest attendance in history – made for an electric atmosphere, while Gator senior middle blocker Chloe Mann put on a show for the Orange and Blue.
Mann hit .696, her third-highest hitting efficiency of the season, on 16 errorless kills, while sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek swung a double digit with 12 kills on the offensive end for Florida. Ten of 11 Gators had at least one dig for UF and senior Taylor Brauneis and sophomore Mackenzie Dagostino led the Gators with 34 and 10 assists, respectively.
· In the last two meetings between the Gators and Tigers, five of seven sets have been decided by two points (25-23)
· There were 25 ties and 10 lead changes in Friday’s SEC thriller between Florida and Missouri
· Four Florida players notched double-digit points against the Tigers: Alex Holston (10.5), Gabby Mallette (10), Živa Recek (13) and Chloe Mann (17.5), the most in a three-set match since UF’s Oct. 11 clash with No. 15 Kentucky when the same quartet turned in double-digit point performances in the sweep
· Mann led Florida with a .696 offensive clip on 16 errorless kills, the most kills for her in a three-set match. Mann notched her third-highest hitting percentage of the season – second-best in SEC play – and fifth outing with double-digit kills and zero errors. Mann also led the Gators with 17.5 points and added three blocks
· Recek also tallied double-digit kills, with 12, for a .250 hitting efficiency on the night. The 12 kills marked Recek’s fifth consecutive match with double-figure kills
· Holston joined Mann with three blocks to lead the Orange and Blue
· Mann additionally has 982 career points for the Gators, 18 shy of the 1,000-point mark
· The SEC clash between the Gators and Tigers Friday marked the first top-10 league showdown in the O’Dome under Florida head coach Mary Wise and the first top-10 SEC tilt since 1991
· Friday’s attendance of 5,023 was the 10th-highest attendance all-time for a Gator volleyball match in the O’Dome, and was the highest for UF since the 2012 season-opener versus FIU UF vs. FIU August 24, 2012 (4,705)
· Florida has now fallen just six times in the O’Connell center in a SEC regular-season match-up in Wise’s 23-year tenure
“Missouri won all of the big points at the end of each set. That’s happened six times now. Credit Missouri – the poise with which they play and their talents. The difference in the match was Molly Kreklow, Missouri’s setter. She was terrific in terms of the tempo she set. It would be like a quarterback that didn’t miss a single throw. She made the right calls. She’s surrounded by great talent, but as we know, she’s pretty special. Statistically we hung with them in terms of our offense. Chloe was pretty special tonight and offensively we were right there.”
On the crowd in the O’Connell Center:
“Tonight was a terrific environment. We have had that kind of match pre-conference or maybe in the NCAAs, but now it’s part of the SEC. We’ve had some matches like that, but it seems like they are always on the road late in the season. I’m thrilled with the crowd, they were into it and they were terrific. We’re disappointed we couldn’t have extended the match for them.”
MARY BY THE NUMBERS:
At Florida: 709-83 | All-Time: 790-146
RECORDS AND SERIES NOTES: UF (23-3, 12-2 SEC) | Missouri (30-0, 14-0 SEC)
ALL-TIME AGAINST MISSOURI: Missouri narrowed Florida’s lead in the series history to 3-2 with Friday’s win, as the Tigers have taken two straight from the Gators, both this season. All five meetings between the two squads have come since 2011.
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