BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — The No. 11 Florida volleyball team defeated the Texas A&M Aggies in four sets Saturday night at Reed Arena.
The Gators extend their winning streak to five straight games, going 20-4 overall and 12-2 in the SEC. Texas A&M drops to 12-14 on the year and 4-11 in the league.
With the win, UF remains atop the SEC standings with four games remaining, holding a one-game lead over second-place Kentucky (11-2).
Florida has now won 20 games in 32 straight seasons, the longest active streak in the nation in nine years (Western Kentucky).
The Gators opened the game with a 25-18 victory in the first frame, then followed with a 25-16 win in the second frame. Texas A&M responded with a 25-16 win in the third set, but the Gators responded with a 25-20 win in the fourth to take the game.
Merritt Beson led the offensive attack on Saturday night, finishing with a 15-kill performance. Sophie-Victoria followed by 13 eliminations and a .435 clip, while the Texas native Bre Kelley launched in eight in the victory.
First year passer Alexis Stucky dished out 40 assists in the game, leading the team to a .241 clip on the night.
As a team, the Gators held the Aggies to just .115 batting efficiency in the game — the 11th opponent Florida has kept below a .150 clip this season. UF had 13.0 blocks in four sets, with Kelley recording seven blocks, a team high. Beason and Victoria each added four blocks apiece in the win, while Gabrielle Essix and Stucky posted three blocks each.
In the rear area, Elli McKissock led the way for Florida, finishing with 15 digs in four sets. Emily Canaan added nine of his own in his home country, while Trinity Adams planted in seven digs in the evening.
Behind the service line, Beason matched his career high with four aces, followed by one each by Adams and McKissock.
The Gators conclude the home portion of their schedule with a two-game series against the Kentucky Wildcats starting Nov. 19. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on SEC+, while Sunday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on SEC Network.
No. 11 Florida (20-4, 12-2 SEC)
Texas A&M (12-14, 4-11 SEC)
How did it happen
- The Gators took a 6-2 lead in the first set, controlling the tempo of the first frame early, but the Aggies fought back to tie the first at 9-all. Florida extended their lead to three before the media timeout, grabbing a 15-12 advantage before the break. After the timeout, a serve led by Beason gave Florida a 19-12 lead and the Gators were able to claim a 25-18 victory to open the game.
- The Gators hit .320 in the first frame, led by five kills from Beason and three from Victoria.
- Florida continued their momentum from the first set into the second, taking a 9-3 lead after a 5-0 service run from Beason to force a Texas A&M timeout. Coming out of the break, the Gators continued to roll, winning up to 12 points at the 15-3 mark to force a timeout again by the Aggies. Texas A&M cut the deficit to six at 17-11 to get Florida to use its first timeout of the second set. The Gators took the game lead 2-0 after going 8-5 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 an early 5-1 lead to force a timeout in Florida. The Gators cut the deficit to just two at 6-4, but the Aggies held UF at least four points away the rest of the way, claiming a 25-16 victory to force a fourth set.
- Beason had a team-high three kills in the third set, followed by two each 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 lead until the Gators took a 15-12 lead in media timeout. After the break, Florida held Texas A&M at bay, taking a five-point lead at the 18-13 mark. The Aggies cut UF’s lead to just three at 23-20, forcing a timeout in Florida, but the Gators held on for the 25-20 win to clinch the game.
- UF hit .281 in the final frame, led by five kills apiece from Beason and Victoria.
- Merritt Beson collected 15 eliminations in the match, his 17th match with double-digit eliminations
- Beason also recorded four service aces on the night, tying his career high
- Sophie-Victoria recorded 13 eliminations in the match, his 12th match with double-digit eliminations
- Elli McKissock recorded his 20th game in double-digit digs, recording 15 on the night
- Gators improve to 21-1 in all-time series against Aggies
- Florida has now won at least 20 games in 32 straight seasons, the longest streak in the nation in nine years.
- UF improves to 8-0 in four-set match against Texas A&M
- Gators improve to 10-1 in College Station, Texas
- Florida is now 6-1 in four-set matches in the 2022 campaign
- With its 15 excavations, Elli McKissock rose to 12th place in program history, sitting at (1,113). During the match, she passed both Jane Collymore (1,125) and Ashley Mullis (1,116)
Thoughts from Coach Wise
- “A&M played very inspired and for us to win this game we had to make big plays at key moments.”
- The Gators conclude the home portion of their schedule with a two-game series against the Kentucky Wildcats starting Nov. 19.
- Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on SEC+, while Sunday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on SEC Network
- Sunday’s game will serve as senior day for Florida’s senior class
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