Gators advance to second round after sweeping Miami
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 16 seed Florida volleyball team kept it season alive after defeating No. 24 Miami in straight sets on Friday night in Exactech Arena.
With the victory, the team reaches its 28th Regional Semifinal in program history, including five-straight trips.
The Gators improve to 22-8 on the year, while Miami finishes its season with a 25-5 record. Florida moves to 28-4 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida took the first set 25-15 and followed with a 25-20 victory in the second set. The Gators clinched the match with a 25-16 win in the final frame.
Thayer Hall and Sofia Victoria each had a hot hand for UF in the win, finishing the three-setter with 13 kills apiece. Merritt Beason added seven kills of her own with a .316 clip in the victory.
Marlie Monserez dished out 34 assists on the night, leading the team to a .276 clip.
At the net, the Gators posted 10.0 blocks and held the Hurricanes to a .053 hitting percentage. Lauren Forte led the defensive effort at the net, recording six blocks, while Hall pitched in four blocks of her own. Bre Kelley and Beason each three blocks to round out the Gators.
Elli McKissock tallied 23 digs in the match, leading the way for the Florida. Hall followed with a 10-dig effort, while Beason registered eight digs.
UF posted five aces behind the service line, with Hall and Beason leading the way with two. Trinity Adams registered one service ace in the victory.
The Gators move on to the Regional Semifinal for the 28th time in program history. If all seeds are to hold, Florida will travel to No. 1 Louisville to take on the Cardinals.
Records No. 16 Seed Florida (22-8, 14-4 SEC) No. 24 Miami (25-5, 15-3 ACC)
How it Happened
- Florida was able to create some distance at the beginning of the match, taking the 9-4 lead in the first set. Miami got one back at 9-5, but the Gators went on an 8-3 run to hold the nine-point advantage at 17-8. The Hurricanes fought back to within six at 17-11, but Florida closed out the set on an 8-4 run to go up 1-0 in the match.
- The Gators hit .371 in the first set, while holding Miami to a .088 clip. Hall posted a team-high seven kills in the frame, while Victoria added six kills on eight swings.
- With the Gators leading 6-2 in the second set, Miami answered with a 6-0 run to take the 8-6 lead and force a Florida timeout. UF dug itself out of the hole to tie up the set 10-10, then strung together a 3-0 run to take the 13-10 lead. The two squads stayed within three points of one another through the middle of the set, but Florida grabbed the comfortable 24-18 lead after a McKissock service run. The Hurricanes got two back, but the Gators took the 2-0 match lead after a Beason kill.
- Florida held Miami to a .044 clip in the second set, posting five blocks. Forte registered a team-high four blocks in the set, while Victoria and Beason recorded six and four kills, respectively, to lead the offense
- The third set was all Gators from the jump, with Florida climbing to the 7-1 lead to force a Miami timeout. Out of the break, Florida continued to grow its lead, going up 10 at the 19-9 mark. The Hurricanes cut their deficit to six at 23-16, but the Gators closed out on back-to-back kills from Kelley and Hall to secure the set and the match.
- Beason and Hall each recorded three kills in the frame, while McKissock tallied six digs.
- Thayer Hall recorded her eighth double-double of the season, finishing with 13 kills and 10 digs
- Florida secures a spot in the program's 28th Regional Semifinal
- The Gators improve to 79-31 (.718) in the NCAA Tournament, including a 78-30 (.722) record under Mary Wise
- UF is now 3-0 against Miami in the all-time series, with all three matches coming in the NCAA Tournament
- Florida improves to 1-0 against Miami in three-set matches
- The Gators are 3-0 against the Hurricanes in Gainesville, Fla.
- UF improves to 18-3 in three-set matches during the 2021 campaign
Thoughts from Coach Wise
- "It took one of our best defensive performances of the year to be able to beat a very talented, well coached Miami team. We are thrilled that after tomorrow night we will be one of 16 teams."
- The Gators are Regional Semifinal bound and if all the seeds are to hold, Florida will head to No. 1 Louisville to take on the Cardinals in the round of 16