TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- Alabama volleyball falls to No. 23 Florida in three close sets Wednesday night, with set scores of 17-25, 19-25, 22-25.
Alabama (9-10, 1-6 SEC) started out with a slow start in the first set with Florida (13-6, 7-2 SEC) outscoring the Tide 0-5. Forced with a timeout, the Tide came out stronger, rallying to tie the score at 8-8. Later in the set, Florida went on to score three unanswered points to make it a six-point game. Making the score 16-10, which forced Alabama their second timeout. The Tide would eventually come close to drawing within six again at 23-17, before the Gators scored back-to-back to win the set 25-17.
In the second set, a kill from Abby Marjama gave Alabama their first lead of the match at 2-1. The Tide would keep their momentum to lead the Gators 7-3, before Florida called a timeout. Alabama led Florida by 6 points at 10-6 before the Gators answered with a 9-1 run to take the lead at 15-11, leading the Tide to call their first timeout of the set. The Gators kept their momentum throughout the set, eventually winning 25-19 to make the match score 2-0.
Both teams scored back-to-back from one another to tie it at 4-4 in the third, until the Gators took the lead with a 4-0 run to put them up 8-4. Alabama capitalized off Florida’s mistakes, eventually getting three-straight kills to tie it at 19-19. The set was a one-point game throughout, down 23-22 before the Gators scored back-to-back ending the set, 25-22, and finishing the match, 3-0.
Players Kennedy Muckelroy and Brooke Slusser led the Crimson Tide in kills and assists. Muckelroy led the team with 14 kills, making this her ninth match of the season and fourth in SEC play with double-digit kills. Slusser led with 24 assists, giving her 20-plus assists in six of her last seven matches.
Alabama will travel to South Carolina to face-off against the Gamecocks (11-7, 3-5 SEC) for a weekend series. Match play begins Saturday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. and will conclude Sunday at 12 p.m. airing on SEC Network.