The O-Dome was rocking as the undefeated #7 Missouri Tigers came to Gainesville to take on the #5 Florida Gators. Unfortunately the Gators fell to the Tigers in three sets by scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 25-23. As a die hard fan of the team, this was a hard loss to swallow. To see the Gators lose a game at home was really hard to cope with. Then I put things into perspective. This was a great game for the Gators to have with the National Tournament just weeks away. I believe this loss will light a fire underneath the girls and they will come out ready to play in the postseason. I give a ton of credit to Mizzou. With a team consisting of nine six footers, they came out and showed that the SEC will need to make room for another elite team besides the Gators. Mizzou capitalized on the Gators' mistakes. Blowing a 5-0 lead in the third set after a timeout and a plethora of service errors in the first set are just a few of the many mental mistakes the team made that Friday night against Mizzou. Despite this heartbreaking loss, which eliminates Florida's chances of winning an SEC regular season title, the Gators are still on pace to get another 25 win season.
My notables for this game are Ziva Recek, Chloe Mann, Alex Holston, and Gabby Mallette. Recek has been playing great this season, and she continued her stellar play with 12 kills and one ace. She accounted for 13 of the 56 Gator points. Mann led the team in kills with 16 and assisted with three blocks. She had most of the Gator points with 17.5. Both Holston (9) and Mallette (8) combined for 17 kills and Mallette had two solo blocks. Like Mann, Holston assisted on three blocks as well.
The Gators have nothing to be ashamed of. They fought valiantly in every set and barely lost. Missouri is undefeated for a reason. This was the Gator's first home loss this year but they look to restart the winning streak as they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 17. Meanwhile, Missouri will look to stay undefeated as they head on up to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks in an early 12:30 p.m. match on Sunday as well.
*Stats accredited to Gatorzone.com