The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
NCAA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - QUARTERFINAL

Gators' Final Four bid falls short vs. Texas

2541 days ago
Florida Athletics

AUSTIN, Texas. -- It was another classic Florida vs. Texas volleyball match in what has become almost an annual affair for the Gators and Longhorns. This time, the Regional Final match between the two went in favor of the home team at Gregory Gym in Austin in front of nearly 4,300 volleyball faithful Saturday evening, who got their money's worth with a five-set thriller that took extra points in the final set (25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-17).

A match that featured 32 ties and 10 lead changes throughout depicts it perfectly. A seesaw match -- nine ties in the final 15-point fifth -- close calls, grit and resilience between both the Gators, who end their season at 25-7 after the program's 25th consecutive 25-win season, and Longhorns (29-2), who advance to Omaha for a National Semifinals match against Minnesota.

In the longest NCAA match for Florida ever at 2:38, both Gator returners sophomore Rhamat Alhassan and junior right side Alex Holston were named to the Austin Regional All-Tournament Team, while Carli Snyder (13K, 15D) turned in one of three double-doubles for Florida.

Seniors Mackenzie Dagostino and Živa Recek both took a final bow with double-doubles, fitting as the duo led UF in double-dips this season, while senior libero Nikki O'Rourke had a team-best 22 digs. Dagostino served up three straight aces to give the Gators momentum in a fourth-set comeback to push the match to five.

Florida's five seniors -- Simone Antwi, Dagostino, Gabby Mallette, O'Rourke and Recek -- finish their careers with a 108-20 (.844) record while donning the Orange and Blue in record fashion. Antwi, UF's fifth-year seniors, wraps up her tenure in Gainesville at No. 7 in career hitting efficiency (.372), while Dagostino will go down in the Gator record book at No. 8 in career assists (2,727) and No. 7 in assists per set (9.95), Recek No. 9 in career attacks (3,143).

UF's quest to make its first Final Four appearance since 2003 started impressively with a 25-22 first-set victory. The Gators then had to rally from a 2-1 deficit to force a decisive fifth set. Florida tied the final set 15-all on a Snyder kill, but the Longhorns closed with two straight kills to advance.

MARY'S MINUTE

"I could not be more proud of this group, they came in here and went toe-to-toe with Texas. We were right there at the end. This was as gutsy a performance we have ever witnessed, and we were right there and came up a little short. Congratulations to Texas. They made some key plays there in the fifth set, but I think we came in here and battled. Pretty amazing to put up the fight that we did. It was amazing and who this group is."

NUMBERS OF NOTE

Both Dagostino and sophomore setter Abby Detering finish tied for fourth for UF with seven service aces in NCAA play...O'Rourke's 66 digs through UF's four games also ties for fourth in UF's postseason record book...Alhassan's 26 blocks in the NCAA Tournament are sixth most in program history...UF's 44 blocks throughout the postseason were sixth-most for the Gators ever in NCAA play...Florida played its second five-setter in as many days and moved to 1-6 in five-set affairs this season.

FLORIDA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

·UF was the last SEC team standing in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and is advancing to the program's eighth Final Four all-time after improving to 8-7 all-time in NCAA Regional Final action

·Florida's 25th straight NCAA Tournament appearance is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation (Penn State & Stanford 35 straight, Nebraska 34 straight)

·The Gators' 2015 NCAA Tournament appearance marked its 25th consecutive and the 26th in program history

·Florida head coach Mary Wise moved to 64-25 (.719) all-time in the NCAA Tournament, with all postseason appearances occurring at the University of Florida

·The Gators are now 65-26 (.714) all-time in the NCAA Tourney

·UF improved to 50-7 (.877) all-time at home in NCAA Tournament play with its First and Second Round wins against New Hampshire and Florida State

·Florida has been a top-16 seed nationally 19 years, including 10 of the last 11 years

·The Gators have now made 23 Regional Semifinals in school history and 15 Regional Finals under their belt

·Florida has made seven Final Four appearances and played for the National Championship in 2003