Florida Won Over Opponent in Straight Sets

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 22nd Florida volleyball team won the first game of the series after a straight-sets victory over Arkansas on Friday night at Barnhill Arena.

The Gators improved to 16-6 overall and 10-2 in league play, while the Razorbacks dropped to 17-7 in the 2021 campaign and 8-5 in the SEC.

UF won the first set with a crushing 25-12 win and followed with a 25-19 win the second frame. The Gators secured the game with a 25-20 victory in the final set.

Florida’s rude strike was led by a 17-Finish, .T’ara Caesar had a 552 strike percentage, while Lauren Forte followed with eight disposals in three sets. Merritt Beason had seven sales on the night, while Bre Kelley had five in profits.

Marlie Monserez led the team to a. 365 clip on the night, with 35 assists in the process.

The defensive effort on the net changed the game Friday night, with the Gators taking 12.0 blocks and holding Arkansas to one. 118 clips. Forte placed a team-high 10.0 blocks in three sets, setting a new season-best mark. Monserez added four blocks of his own, César followed with three.

Elli McKissock led the Orange and Blue’s defensive effort downfield, finishing the game with 17 digs. Monserez threw nine of his own throws, while Beason and Thayer Hall each had eight outs.

Florida took four aces on serve in the win, led by two from McKissock.

The Gators are back in action Saturday to close the series with the Razorbacks. The first service is scheduled for 18 hours ET on the SEC + Network and can also be heard on ESPN 98.1 FM / 850 AM.


  • 22 Florida (16-6, 10-2 sec)
  • Arkansas (17-7, 8-5 Sec)

How Did It Happen?

  • The Gators took an early lead in the first period, thanks in part to a 4-0 Caesar serve to force a Razorbacks timeout at the 10-4 mark. Florida continued to keep Arkansas at bay until the middle of the set, by a five-point margin of 16-11. The Gators made a 7-0 run behind Beason’s serve to take a dominant 24-11 lead and closed the frame with a Forte/Monserez block to go up 1-0 in the duel.
  • UF hit a star.519 in the first set, while Arkansas went to a .053 clip. Caesar led the way with seven eliminations, followed by three by Forte and two by Kelley and Beason. Forte added five blocks to secure the victory.
  • With the second set tied 6-6, Florida exploded after a 7-1 run behind a combined serve from Caesar and Adams, forcing Arkansas to use its first frame timeout. After the break, the Razorbacks went on a run of their own to pull in two at 15-13. It was the closest Arkansas would get the rest of the way as Florida finished the set on a 10-6 run to 2-0 up in the game.
  • With UF .400 in the second frame and again held the Razorbacks under A. 100 clips (.059). César scored four eliminations in the set to lead the way, followed by three from Beason.
  • The Gators took a 5-2 lead early in the third set and continued to extend the lead midway through the set, bringing the media timeout to five at 15-10. Arkansas pulled in 16-15, but Florida responded with a 3-0 run to take a 19-15 lead and force a Razorbacks timeout. After the break, UF was able to extend its lead to six at 23-17, but Arkansas began to pull out of the hole, within three at 23-20. The Gators stopped the run and closed the duel with a 2-0 spurt to extend their winning streak to five games.
  • Florida closed the game.382 in the final frame, led by six Caesar eliminations.


  • UF extends its winning streak to five games
  • Lauren Forte had 10.0 blocks in the game, a new season high and one of her career highs
  • T’ara Caesar recorded his 18th game in double-digit eliminations during the 2021 campaign
  • Alligators improve to 47-3 against Razorbacks in all-time series
  • Florida now stands 28-1 in three sets against Arkansas
  • The Gators improved to 19-2 against the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
  • UF is now 13-1 in three sets in the 2021 campaign
  • Drivers look ahead to Canadian GP
  • Mary Wise now has 995 career wins, just five wins away from reaching the 1,000 win milestone
  • With her 35 assists today, Marlie Monserez is just 68 assists away from reaching 5th place in the history of the career assists program
  • With his four disposals in the game, Thayer Hall is now tied for 14th in program history for career disposals with 1,207 (Carli Snyder and Neymar Rodriguez)

The Coach’s thoughts

“To approach this series correctly-it’s two games. Tonight we scored enough points between our counters and our eliminations, but we know that tomorrow could be very different.”

Next Up

  • The Gators are back in action on Saturday
  • The first shift is scheduled for 18 hours ET on the SEC + Network
  • The game can also be heard on ESPN 98.1 FM / 850 AM

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