Gators Dominated Sacramento State

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -The sixth-ranked Florida volleyball team closed the Hornet Invitational with a perfect 3-0 record after dominating Sacramento State in straight sets on Saturday night.

This is the 24th time in program history that the Gators have started the season with a 3-0 record.

Florida controlled the first set of the jump, winning 25-14, then followed with a 25-17 victory in the second frame. UF was able to conclude the match and the tournament with a 25-20 victory in the third set.

The Gators’ rude strike was led by outside hitters T’ara Caesar and Thayer Hall, who recorded 12 and 10 disposals respectively. Lauren Forte posted seven disposals of her own on just 11 error-free swings for one.636 clips.

Merritt Beason and Marlie Monserez each recorded four disposals in the match, while Lauren Dooley added three disposals out of one.750 clips.

Monserez captained Florida’s offense to a.413 hitting efficiency on the night, dishing out 32 assists in the process.

For the second time in the tournament, the Gators held their opponent below A.100 clip-holding the Hornets to just one.098 striking efficiency at night.

Elli McKissock paced the backfield with 15 digs, while Beason and Monserez both posted eight in the game. This marks a record-breaking season for the freshman Beason. Caesar recorded seven digs of his own in the three sets.

The Gators are back in action Tuesday as the team travels for a game against No. 21 Stanford. The game is scheduled for 20 a.m. ET and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

How Did It Happen

  • The Gators controlled set one from the jump thanks in part to a 6-0 serve from Thayer Hall. Florida continued to keep the Hornets at bay, going up by nine points to the 12-3 mark. Sacramento State got within six at 16-7, but that was the closest the Hornets would get the rest of the way. Birdie Hendrickson led the Gators on a seven-point serve to give UF a 20-7 lead and the team held on to win the first set 25-14.
  • Florida hit a star.481 in the first set, while holding the Hornets to a .033 clip. Caesar recorded a record four disposals, while Beason and Forte added three apiece.
  • The start of the second inning was a close action between the two teams, but with the score tied at 5-5, the Gators were able to take the lead to take a three-point advantage at 13-10. Sacramento State cut the deficit to one at 14-13, but Florida put the momentum back in its direction, going ahead by eight points at 23-15. The Gators closed the set on a Monserez finish, leading 2-0 in the match.
  • The Gators held Sacramento State to a .029 clip in the second frame, while hitting .370 themselves. Forte, Caesar and Monserez each recorded three eliminations to secure the victory.
  • The third set was the tightest of the three, with both teams trading points until the Gators were able to take a three-point lead at 12-9.
  • Sacramento State dug deep to tie the set at 14-14, but Florida was again able to create some distance at 19-17. The Hornets fought back to tie the game at 19-19, but the Gators soared on a 6-1 run to remain undefeated in the 2021 campaign.
  • Come here.395 in the final frame, led by seven disposals from Hall and five disposals from Caesar.


  • Merritt Beason recorded his best eight digs of the season that night
  • Bre Kelley saw his first action as a Gator, recording two blocks and a finish in the game
  • Elli McKissock scored a season-high 15 digs in the game
  • Florida has now started the season with a 3-0 record 24 times in program history
  • Gators move to 1-0 against Hornets in all-time series
  • With her 32 assists, Marlie Monserez came one step closer to breaking into the UF Top-10. She currently stands at 2,594 career assists, just 77 shy of winning 10th place

Coach’s thoughts

“This game reminds us of those difficult games that we have to play on the road where the home team plays both inspired and well.”

Up Next

The Gators close their trip to California with a game against Stanford, the 21st player in the world
Florida is 5-7 in the all-time series against the Cardinal
The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 networks

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