The #5 Florida Gators closed out their three match home stand with a three game sweep over the Alabama Crimson Tide. However, this sweep was not an easy one as the Gators won the first two sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-23. Things were a bit easier for them in the third set as they won 25-17. The Tide came ready to play, but at the end of the day Florida's talent stymied any hope of an upset. I believe that this match was close only because the Gators were so fatigued after playing three games in a week with a total of two off days. With the season winding down, the team will need to rejuvenate and catch fire if they want to make noise in the postseason. Under the leadership of Head Coach Mary Wise and seniors Chloe Mann and Taylor Brauneis, the Gators should have no problem taking their game to the next level when the situation demands it.
Offensively in today's match it was all Gabby Mallette. The sophomore tallied eleven kills and represented 11.5 of the team's 53 points. Defensively, it was a block party as the Gators had 10 blocks on the day. One last interesting note I would like to make is that libero Taylor Unroe, whose primary job is digging and serving, actually got a kill in the match today. Keep in mind that Unroe is 5'7. Apart from her rare kill, Unroe did have two service aces on the day as well.
The Gators are now on the homestretch of the season and they just have to keep their focus as the National Tournament looms. Next up for the Gators are the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. The game will take place on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The game can be see on ESPNU. I will definitely try to watch the game and write a post game report, but I will probably have it on mute. I am not a fan of what appears to be an anti-Florida bias that the ESPNU announcers present when they talk, whether they know it or not. As for the Alabama Crimson Tide... at least the football team is still #1 in all the polls, and that is mostly what fans in Tuscaloosa care about. All joking aside, the Crimson Tide (who sport a nifty 21-8 record) will do battle with the Ole Miss Rebels back home at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 22.
*Stats accredited to Gatorzone.com