GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Auburn volleyball team faced No. 3 Florida in Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Wednesday night and fell to the Gators, 3-1 (22-25, 25-10, 25-16, 25-22). The loss moves Auburn to 15-11 overall and 8-9 in the Southeastern Conference.
“Coming in, we knew that Florida was a good team and it would be a battle to keep them out of system, especially at home,” head coach Rick Nold said. “We were able to do that a lot today and put together nice runs of our own. However, Florida took advantage of our miscues at the right time and that was the difference tonight.”
Senior Macy Reece led the Tigers with 13 kills, while Brenna McIlroy chipped in 10. Sophomore Shaina White and freshman Anna Stevenson had eight kills apiece and sophomore Gwyn Jones finished with seven.
Senior Alexa Filley notched with her 19th double-double of the season, totaling 36 assists and 16 digs. McIlroy picked up her eighth double-double with 14 digs in the match. Senior libero Jesse Earl added 13 digs and sophomore Karis Beasley finished with 11.
The Gators (24-1, 16-1) were led by Carli Snyder with 21 kills and 10 digs, while Rhamat Alhassan finished with 13 kills and six blocks. Libero Caroline Knop had 14 digs and setter Allie Monserez finished with 31 assists.
The two squads battled back and forth for a substantial lead to start the match. Down 12-10, a kill from Reece kicked off an Auburn run that pushed the visitors to a 17-12 advantage. A smart play from Filley made it 19-14 and back-to-back kills by McIlroy lifted the Tigers to a 22-18 lead. A kill from S. White gave AU set point and another kill from the middle blocker put Auburn up early in the match, 25-22.
A pair of kills from Stevenson tied set two early before the Gators pushed a long run to take a 14-4 lead. The home squad pushed another rally, 19-8, and went on to take the set, 25-10.
Two kills for Reece and a Reece/S. White block cut into an early Florida lead in the third, 4-3, but the Gators capitalized on big blocks to forge ahead at 9-4. UF forced an Auburn timeout with an 18-11 advantage and took set point, 24-14. A kill from Jones held off the Gators before the home squad took the stanza, 25-16.
A solo block from Stevenson and a strike by Reece made it 6-2 Auburn in the fourth, but the Gators battled back to lock up the set at 10-all. A pair of two-point pushes lifted the Tigers to a 13-11 lead and kills from Jones and McIlroy made it 17-16. Florida, however, used strong play from the outside and forced an Auburn timeout with a 21-19 lead and after another Reece kill held off match point, the Gators came away with a 25-22 victory.
The Tigers close out the 2017 regular season Saturday, Nov. 25, at Arkansas. Auburn and the Razorbacks will square off at 1 p.m. CT in Fayetteville and the match will be streamed on SEC Network+.