FINAL: FLORIDA 3, UCLA 1
GAINESVILLE, FL- The Florida Gators are headed to the Elite Eight for the sixteenth time in program history. Florida defeated the UCLA Bruins in the regional semifinal on Friday to advance to Saturday’s match. Despite losing the first set, Florida swept the final three frames to end the season for UCLA in front of more than 3,000 fans at Exactech Arena.
Florida lost set one despite a better hitting percentage (.297 to .244). UCLA finished the opening set with 16 kills to the Gators’ 14. UCLA recorded six attack errors to Florida’s three.
The Gators won set two with excellent defense. Florida forced the Bruins into ten errors on 46 attack attempts for a total efficiency of only .065. Florida finished with another .297 rate and finished with 13 kills for the set.
Somehow Florida’s defense was even better in set three. Coming out of the halftime intermission, the Gators attention to detail on the defensive end was impressive. Florida forced UCLA to a negative hitting efficiency. UCLA finished set three with a -.025 clip. UCLA made ten errors on forty attacks. Florida’s offense wasn’t at it’s best in the third set, finishing with five errors on 33 attacks for a .152 rate.
In set four, Florida committed only one error in 35 attempts. UCLA, meanwhile, made four errors on 42 attacks. Florida finished the final set with 14 kills while the Bruins notched 13.
Florida finished with a 70-61 edge in points earned. The two teams were even in both kills (51) and aces (5). Florida made 14 blocks, while the UCLA front line only managed five. Senior Rhamat Alhassan finished with a match high ten blocks, adding to the program record that she already owns.
Senior Carli Snyder finished with a double-double at a team high 18 kills and 15 digs. Snyder also added three service aces. Cheyenne Huskey and Allie Monserez each recorded more than twenty assists. Libero Caroline Knop finished with 18 digs despite a cast on her right (service) hand.
Florida now moves on to the Elite Eight (regional finals) where they will face Southern Cal on Saturday. #10 Southern Cal defeated #7 Minnesota 3-0 on Friday. The match will begin at 6:00 PM from Exactech Arena. The winner will advance to the final four in Kansas City on Thursday.