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

Florida falls to Minnesota in gut-wrenching 3-2 loss

203 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

AUSTIN, Texas - The 12th-ranked Florida volleyball team fell in a tough five-set contest with the seventh-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (25-23, 14-25, 25-16, 15-25, 11-15) on Friday night at Gregory Gymnasium.

Florida finishes its 2019 campaign with a 27-5 record and a 16-2 record in the SEC.

This season was one of great success for the Gator squad that clinched its 24 SEC Championship, the most of any team in the league. It is also the third-best mark among any sports in the SEC since volleyball's inception in the conference.

Florida also continued its staggering streak of 29-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and completed its 29th consecutive season with at least 25 wins - both milestones coming under the tenure of Mary Wise.

The Gators were led of the offensive front by Thayer Hall, who recorded 17 kills on the night. Senior Rachael Kramer boasted 15 kills with a .364 clip, while Holly Carlton and Mia Sokolowski pitched in nine and eight kills, respectively.

Marlie Monserez dished out 53 assists on the night, adding 12 digs for her 10th double-double of the season.

Paige Hammons and Monserez each registered a team-high 12 digs on the night, while Allie Gregory recorded 10 digs of her own. Hall pitched in nine digs, one short of a double-double for the sophomore.

As a squad, the team notched seven blocks, including four from Kramer. Lauren Dooley added three of her own, while Hall and Sokolowski both registered two on the evening. Gregory, Carlton and Monserez each recorded two service aces on the night.

Records

No. 12 Florida (27-5) 

No. 7 Minnesota (26-5)

How it Happened

  • The two teams were trading points in the first set, but with the score tied 12-12, the Gators went on a 3-0 run to take the 15-12 lead into the media timeout. Minnesota pulled to within two out of the break, but Florida continued to push, taking a four-point advantage at the 17-13 mark. The Golden Gophers went on a 4-2 spurt to pull within two at 19-17, forcing a Florida timeout.
  • The Gators then pulled ahead 23-20, but Minnesota was not going down without a fight, going on a 3-1 run to force a Florida timeout at 24-23. Rachael Kramer sealed the set with a kill, her seventh of the set. The Gators hit .326 in the first frame, led by seven kills and a .778 clip from Kramer. Hall added four, while Dooley pitched in three in the frame.
  • The Golden Gophers got out to the early 5-0 lead in the second set, forcing a Florida timeout. UF clawed its way back to within one at 9-8, thanks in part to a service run by Chanelle Hargreaves. Minnesota answered with a 6-0 run of its own, taking the 15-8 lead midway through. Florida pulled to within five at 17-12, but the Golden Gophers continued to push, taking the set 25-14.
  • Florida registered a .000 hit clip in the second set. Kramer recorded four of the eight Gator kills.
  • With the third set tied 12-12, the Gators went on a 3-0 run to take the 15-12 advantage into the media timeout. Out of the break, Florida continued its run, going up 17-12 to force a quick Minnesota timeout. The Gators remained solid, closing out the set on an 8-4 run to going up 2-1 in the match.
  • Florida hit .441 in the third frame, racking up 18 kills in the set. Hall and Sokolowski registered five kills, while Carlton added four in the frame.
  • Minnesota lead from the start in the fourth set, taking as much as a nine-point lead at 16-8. A kill and service ace from Hall pulled Florida back to within six at 16-10, but the Golden Gophers went on a 3-0 run to take the 19-10 lead late in the frame. The Gators went on a 3-0 run of their own, thanks in part to back-to-back kills from Mia Sokolowski, but it wasn't enough, with Minnesota taking the frame 25-15.
  • The Gators racked up just 10 kills in the fourth set, behind a .231 clip. Hall pitched in five kills, while Sokolowski added three of her own in the frame.
  • Florida held the 3-2 lead early, but Minnesota answered with a 6-0 run to take the 8-3 lead. The Gators continued to battle, pulling to within three at the 14-11 mark, but Minnesota closed on the match with a kill. UF hit .208 in the final set, led by two kills apiece from Kramer, Hammons, Hall and Carlton.

Notables

  • Marlie Monserez posted her 10th double-double of the season with 53 assists and 12 digs
  • The Gators move to 1-5 against Minnesota in the all-time series
  • Florida moves to 0-2 against the Golden Gophers in five-set matches
  • Rachael Kramer finished her Gator career in the Top-10 in program history in three categories:
  • Hitting percentage - .409 - 5th all-time
  • Blocks - 468 - 5th all-time
  • Block assists - 417 - 4th all-time
  • Allie Gregory finished her Gator career in the Top-10 in digs with 1,385, putting her fourth overall
  • The Gators drop to 75-30 in the NCAA Tournament, including a 74-29 record under Mary Wise
  • Florida moves to 0-2 against Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament
  • UF drops the first neutral site battle between the teams
  • The Gators finish the season with a 6-3 record in five-set matches

Thoughts from Coach Wise 

"We entered this match against Minnesota and we thought what a great opportunity to see how far we've come; could we have narrowed the gap from the last time we played them, and the answer is obviously we had. I cannot say enough about things about a group, how they overcame so many obstacles just to get to this point."

"We were right there. This group did as much improving over the course of a season as I've ever been around, and the only thing that surpasses the improvement is the character, and it has been an awesome ride. Just wish it had lasted a little longer."