Gators Gameplay to Down the Lady Vols

Gators Gameplay to Down the Lady Vols post thumbnail image

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In the clash of two Top-25 teams, the no. 23 Florida volleyball team triumphed, defeating the 22nd-ranked Lady Volunteers in four-sets on Thursday night at Exactech Arena.

The Gators improved to 15-6 on the year and 9-2 in the league, while Tennessee fell to 16-6 overall and 8-4 in conference play.

Tennessee took the first set 25-22 in a tightly fought frame, but Florida responded with a 25-17 victory in the second set. The Gators took the third set in a come-from-behind 25-23 win and finished the game with a 25-16 win in the fourth frame.

Florida was led on the rude front by T’ara Caesar, who had a season-high 25 finishs on the night with a .352 clips. Her 31.5 points were a record number in a four-set match for the rally scoring era.

Lauren Forte added 11 finishs of her own, while Thayer Hall followed with a 10-Finish performance and Merritt Beason recorded nine finishs in the four-setter.

Marlie Monserez distributed 48 assists as he led the team to a .298 clips in the contest. With her 48 assists, she moved to the No. 6 spot in program history for career assists, surpassing Lauren Moscovic (3,306).

The Gators held Tennessee to one .177 clip on the night-The Lady Vols lowest efficiency of the season. UF recorded a total of 9.5 blocks, led by five from Forte. Beason and Lauren Dooley each threw in four on the night, while Caesar added three.

Elli McKissock recorded a team-high 26 digs to lead Florida’s backcourt defense. Monserez posted 17 of her own for her eighth double-double of the year, while Hall recorded 12 for her fourth double-double in the 2021 campaign. Beason notched a career-high 11 digging her own round of alligators in double-digit excavations.

Caesar led the way behind the service line, tying her career-high with five aces.

The alligators are back in action on Nov. 12-13 for a two-game series against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark. Friday’s first serve is scheduled for 20: 00 ET, while Saturday’s game is set to begin at 18: 00 ET.


  • Good. 23 Florida (15-6, 9-2 SEC)
  • Good. 22 Tennessee (16-6, 8-4 SEC)

How it happened

  • The first part of the set was tight, with the biggest lead being a two-point advantage on both sides until the Lady Vols picked up the 15-12 lead going into the media timeout. From the break, Tennessee pulled a whopping seven ahead at 21-14, but the Gators did not pull back, eventually reducing their deficit to just one at 23-22. Tennessee closed the frame after a 2-0 run and took the first set 25-22.
  • Come here .452 in the first frame, led by four pass away each of Caesar and Forte. Beason followed with three of her own, while Hall and Monserez each placed two in the set.
  • With the second set tied 8-8, the Gators exploded for a 3-0 run behind the serves of Caesar to force a Tennessee timeout at the 11-8 mark. The Lady Vols pulled in one at 12-11, but Florida was able to create some distance, going up six points behind a Hall service run. Tennessee would give another final push by pulling in four at 20-16, but the Gators closed the frame after a 5-1 run to capture the game.
  • UF here .256 in the second set, while Tennessee went to a .Clip 103. Caesar placed a team-high seven finishs in the frame, followed by four from Forte.
  • Tennessee retained the early lead in the third set, three ahead on the 16-13 mark before the Gators responded to a 7-1 run behind Hall and McKissock’s serves to take the 21-17 lead. The Lady Vols responded with a 5-0 run, forcing Florida to use its second timeout with Tennessee leading 22-21. the turning point for the Gators was the challenge of Caesar’s strike off limits – when that call was overrun, Florida tied the frame at 23-23. UF finished the set with a 2-0 run and went up 2-1 in the game.
  • The Gators were led by 10 finishs of Caesar, while Beason and Hall add three each. McKissock placed 11 digs in the third set to lead the defense.
    The fourth set belonged to the Gators from the jump, with Florida leading 13-6 by seven points. the Lady Vols fought back to within four at 16-12, but UF closed the frame with a 9-4 run to secure the game and move it to 9-2 in league play.
  • The alligators hit a star .481 in the final set, while Tennessee went to a .083 hitting percentage. Caesar again aggressively led the way with four dead, followed by three each from Hall and Forte.


  • T’ara Caesar took a career-high 31.5 points, which is a program record in four sets in the rally-scoring era
  • Caesar tied her career-high with five aces
  • Beason took a career-high 11 digs in the game
  • Marlie Monserez posted her eighth double-double of the season, finishing with 48 assists and 17 digs
  • Thayer Hall recorded her fourth double-double of the season, recording 10 finishes and 12 digs
  • With her 48 assists in the game, Marlie Monserez claimed the No. 6 spot in program history for career assists, surpassing Lauren Moscovic (3,306)
  • The last time four Florida players recorded 10+ digs in a game was October. 10 against LSU
  • The alligators improve to 54-13 against the Lady Vols, including a 50-8 record under Mary Wise
  • Florida now stands 11-4 in four-set games against Tennessee
  • The Gators improve to 28-7 against Tennessee in Gainesville, Fla.
  • UF is now 3-4 in four-set matches during the 2021 campaign
  • Thoughts from Coach Wise

“The game has an NCAA feel to it with so many of the big rallies and performances tonight. The way Tennessee played in that first set, the 31.5 points scored by Tara and Elli’s 26 digs – a lot of really good things happened.”

Next Up

The alligators are back in action on Nov. 12 and 13 when the team goes to Fayetteville, Ark. to face the Razorbacks in a two-match series

Friday’s first serve is scheduled for 20: 00 ET, while Saturday’s game starts at 18: 00 ET

Florida holds the 46-3 series lead over Arkansas

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