For the third consecutive Friday, Marquette faced off with an opponent ranked in the top five of the AVCA poll, and for the third consecutive Friday, Marquette suffered a straight sets loss. The #4 ranked Florida Gators came into the Al McGuire Center and beat the Golden Eagles, 25-21, 25-21, 25-13.
The good news here is that of the three matches against top five teams, this was the most competitive one. In the six sets against #3 USC and #3 Penn State, Marquette was unable to reach the 20 point mark. Marquette jumped out to an 11-4 lead to open the first set, and the Golden Eagles led 14-9 in the second set before the Gators eventually rallied in both cases to take identical 25-21 leads. Florida came out of intermission with determination and did to Marquette what the Golden Eagles had done to the Gators in the first two sets, opening up a 7-1 lead en route to a dominating 25-13 third set win. UF hit for a crazypants percentage of .630 in the third set.
Autumn Bailey sits atop the scoresheet for MU yet again, as she registered team highs in both kills (10, including five in the first) and digs (13). Jackie Kocken was incredibly accurate, hitting .500 while compiling eight kills. All-SEC performer Chloe Mann led Florida with 13 kills, while standout sophomore Ziva Recek had 12 kills.
Marquette falls to 5-4 on the season. All four losses have come to teams ranked in the top 13 of the AVCA poll at the time. MU has just two matches left on the schedule against teams ranked in the latest AVCA poll, with both of them coming against #23 Creighton as a part of Big East play.
Up Next: MU takes Saturday off before continuing the Marquette Invitational on Sunday. UW-Milwaukee (4-6) heads over to the McGuire Center with match time coming at 2pm. The Panthers will play Florida on Saturday night at 6pm.