- Sep 9, 2015
- Reaction score
Four Florida players register 10 kills or more, including a team-high 18 in Kennedy Martin's debut.
Upcoming Gopher opponent Florida opened the season defeating Penn State in Tampa.. Penn State also dropped their second match to Georgia Tech
TAMPA, Fla. – In a battle of two Top-15 teams, the No. 11 Florida Gators defeated the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions in comeback fashion, winning in four sets.
Penn State claimed the first set 25-18, but the Gators won a hard-fought 25-23 second set to even the match. Florida took that momentum into set three, winning 25-17, then the Gators staved off three set points in the fourth and won the match with a 5-0 run.
With the victory, the Gators have now won 31 season openers, including seven-straight. This was the sixth season-opening victory over a Top-25 opponent since the inception of the program in 1984.
On the offensive front four Gators notched over 10 kills, including a team-high 18 from freshman Kennedy Martin in her debut. Classmate Kira Hutson added 14 in her first collegiate match, while Sofia Victoria (11) and Anna Dixon (10) combined for 21 kills on the night.
The freshmen duo of Martin and Hutson were the first pair of freshmen to record 30+ combined kills in a season opening match, surpassing the mark of 28 from the duo of Kristy Jaeckel (15) and Kelly Murphy (13) in the season-opener in 2008.
The Gator offense was anchored by Alexis Stucky, who dished out 55 assists on the night – one shy of her career-high.
Florida held Penn State to a .193 clip, tallying 11 blocks on the night. Gabrielle Essix was a force at the net, posting a team-high seven blocks, while Martin added five of her own in the victory.
Leading the backcourt defense for the Gators was libero Elli McKissock, who posted a team-high 13 digs in the four-setter. Martin recorded the first double-double of her career, recording 11 digs to pair with her 18 kills. Trinity Adams and Emily Canaan each registered nine digs, while Stucky added seven in the win.
Stucky also added three aces to the column on Friday night, while Dixon added two