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Photo: Brendan Maloney

Thursday September 5, 2013Total Team Effort Aids No. 8 Gators in Sweep of UTSA

San Antonio, Texas

Photo: Brendan Maloney

The No. 8 Florida volleyball team stayed perfect on the season, sweeping host University of Texas-San Antonio in three sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-20) Thursday afternoon to continue their undefeated start to 2013.

 

Sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia) led the Gators with a team-high 12 kills against the Roadrunners. Senior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) directed the Gator offense to a .292 hitting percentage, dishing out 36 assists and 11 digs for her fourth career double-double.

 

QUICK HITS

·         Freshman Alex Holston, a right-side hitter from Olney, Md., and sophomore Gabby Mallette, an outside hitter from Orange Park, Fla., each contributed nine kills. For Holston, it was a new career high in her young Florida career. Mallette’s tally was her highest in a three-set match and just off her career high of 10 kills, a mark she put forth in two five-set matches on the road at Arkansas and Texas A&M last season.

·         Junior libero Taylor Unroe scooped 17 digs Thursday, two under her career best for a three-set match.

·         The Gators opened their season 4-0, the 12th time in program history and first time since 2011.

·         Thursday’s match was the third of the season where Florida did not allow a service ace.

·         Junior defensive specialist Madison Monserez tallied her first career kill thanks to a diving dig that caught the Roadrunners on their heels.

 

NOT ON OUR WATCH: UF held preseason C-USA Player of the Year McKenzie Adams to a .098 hitting percentage, her lowest of the season. Florida has held every opponent in 2013 to under .200 hitting efficiency. The Gators kept the Roadrunners to a .143 offensive clip.

 

UP NEXT: Florida heads up I-35 to Austin to participate in the final installment of the Nike Big Four Classic. The Gators take on the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Florida faces 2012 Final Four participant and newly-minted No. 1 Penn State on Sunday, September 8 at 11 a.m. ET. Both of the Nike Big Four matches will air tape-delayed on the Longhorn Network with Chris Marlowe and Nell Fortner on the call Saturday at 11 p.m. ET and Paul Sunderland and Fortner calling the action together Sunday airing at 6 p.m. ET.

 

IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Thursday night was UTSA’s first home match against a ranked opponent in nearly 20 years. The Roadrunners last hosted a team ranked in the AVCA Top 25 on Sept. 1, 1994 when UTSA was swept by then-No. 12 Texas. The highest-ranked opponent the Roadrunners faced was then-No. 5 Texas in a loss in three sets on Sept. 1, 1993.

 

MARY’S MINUTE: “I was so impressed with UTSA. They’re going to have a great year. Alex had another great outing and as our lefty gets better, we’ll get better too. I was so happy with Gabby. She had a great match and almost had a new career high. Defensively, I was proud of Taylor Unroe. 17 digs in just three sets is fantastic. She had a great serving night and her serve is high risk, high reward. What we need is for the others around her to step up behind the service line. Taylor was a little quiet to start off the match but once she got behind the service line and got comfortable, I think her leadership in the back row improved.”

 

RECORDS: Florida: 4-0; UTSA: 2-3

 

FOLLOW THE GATORS: For all of the latest information on Florida volleyball, please visit GatorZone. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida Volleyball (@GatorZoneVB) and Coach Mary Wise (@GatorMary) on Twitter. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.

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