- Sep 4, 2002
Gator Volleyball became co-champs of the SEC with Kentucky today by beating Ole Miss on their court 3-2 (25-23, 25-16, 19-25, 21-25, 15-11) in a hard fought match. Kentucky had already won their match against South Carolina earlier Saturday to put the pressure on Florida to win. Florida holds the tiebreaker with KY so they get the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and will be a higher seed, probably hosting the first 2 rounds. This is the 25th SEC title for Mary Wise and the Gators and the 32nd year Florida has won at least 20 matches. The team with the 2nd longest 20 win streak is 9 years behind UF at 23 years. Ole Miss played their best match of the year and gave the Gators a huge scare, as Florida hit .322, but Ole Miss hit .265. The Rebels had 68 kills to our 65 and had 50 digs to our 48. The difference was that UF had 12 blocks to their 9 and the Rebels committed 27 attack errors to our 17. 4 Gators had double digit kills - Marina Markova led with 18, Merritt Beason and Sofia Victoria had 13 each and Gabby Essix had 12. Beason also had 12 digs, while Ellie McKissock had 10. Freshman setter Alexis Stuckey had 53 assists and 9 digs. The Gators await their seeding when the NCAA selection show airs Sunday night at 7:30. Congratulations to one of the greatest D1 coaches in any sport, Mary Wise and this year's edition of Gator volleyball!!