The No. 8 seed Florida Gators Women’s Volleyball team lost a hard match to the No. 1 seed Wisconsin Badgers with a final score of 3-2 in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament. This ends the Gators’ volleyball season with a 21-4 record as the Badgers advance to the Final Four round in the tournament.
This was not an easy win for Wisconsin whatsoever. The Gators gave them a run for their money as the match win came down to the final three-ish points.
Entering play on Monday, Wisconsin had only lost three sets all season and hadn’t played a fifth set in any match. Florida won two sets, and nearly pulled off the upset.
How it happened
Set 1: 30-28 Wisconsin
Florida and Wisconsin demonstrated that this would be a hard fought match right off of the bat. The two teams traded points back-and-forth early in the first set. Neither team was able to hold a significant lead over the other until Wisconsin went on a 4-1 scoring run to take a lead at the 13-9 mark. Wisconsin held off Florida until late in the first set when they were able to get back within one point at the 22-21 mark. The next several points were once again traded between the two teams, pushing the set to reach match point several times. An attack error and a final kill by Wisconsin gave the Badgers their first win of the night.
Set 2: 25-18 Florida
Similar to the beginning of the first set, the two teams presented equal action. This did not last long however as Florida mustered up a 5-1 run to go up 8-4. Wisconsin attempted to answer Florida’s run, but Florida held their own. Eventually, Wisconsin was forced to call a timeout after Florida held a six point lead at the 17-11 mark. However, Wisconsin was never quite able to catch up, and Florida increased the gap to seven points at which Florida was able to take their first win of the night.
Set 3: 25-22 Wisconsin
The beginning of the third set mirrored the second. The teams were toe-to-toe until Florida was able to pull slightly ahead at 8-5. The difference however was that Wisconsin did not let them hold them off. Wisconsin was able to tick away Florida’s advantage and create a tie frame at 11-11. The two teams then went back-and-forth in action once again. Florida attempted to end this streak by calling a timeout, but it was no use. It was not until Wisconsin followed in suit with a timeout that any big changes happened. Coming out of the Wisconsin timeout, the Badgers were able to create a 22-18 lead over Florida which influenced a second Florida timeout. The Gators were able to lessen this lead and pull within a few points of Wisconsin right at the end of the frame, but a Florida service error gave the Badgers their second win of the night.
Set 4: 25-18 Florida
The fourth set showed off that same point trading in the beginning that was seen in the other three. Florida, however, was able to come out of this stalemate on top. The Gators were able to pull ahead 10-6 after a 4-1 run. Wisconsin immediately responded by diminishing the Florida lead and returning the tie at the 12-12 mark. It was not until late in the frame that either team was able to gain a significant advantage over the other. The set finished off with a 7-1 run by Florida. This gave the Gators this second win of the night, and it tied the match.
Set 5: 15-12 Wisconsin
The final set started the same as the others. There was no advantage held by either team until Florida managed to pull ahead 9-6. Wisconsin responded to this lead and then some. The Badgers took off. They went on a 6-1 run to take the advantage at 12-10. Florida followed closely behind. Wisconsin neared victory after completing a kill to put the frame at 14-12 which forced a Florida timeout. However, an attack error by the Gators gave Wisconsin the final point they needed to take the match win and move on to the final four.