Florida Volleyball advances to the Elite 8; Courtesy of @GatorsVB on Twitter

Florida Volleyball Takes Sweet 16 in Five Over Wisconsin

The Florida volleyball team took their first five-match win of the season and when a better time to do it other than in the Sweet 16.  The Gators took down the Badgers 3-2 with scores of: 25-17, 25-23, 19-25, 22-25, and 15-12.  Florida associate head coach Dave Boos says a fifth set win was long overdue and Wisconsin made it tough for the Gators.  Florida was able to win the first two sets, but Boos says Wisconsin was able to take over in sets three and four because of their hitting capabilities.  Two of Wisconsin’s outside hitters Lauryn Gillis and Kelli Bates had huge hitting nights of 20 and 21 kills, respectively.

Florida middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan reached a new career-high of 24 kills.  Boos believes it was one of the best performances he has seen considering the amount of rotations Alhassan goes through.  With great hitting comes great passing, and Boos says setter Mackenzie Dagostino was key in Alhassan’s performance tonight.  Dagostino had 53 assists tonight to help her hitting core.  Another key part of the Gator offense is no other than right side hitter Alex Holston, and Boos says she was able to shine through during Friday night’s game.

The Gators never won five-set matches during the season including games against Hawaii, Missouri, Auburn and Texas A&M.  Winning this five-set match, Boos says the team found a way to win and that is what will grow confidence.  Though Florida did not win the SEC Championship, Boos says tough games like that is what prepares the team for moments like moving on to the Elite Eight.

Florida will now face the winner of the UCLA/Texas match up in the Elite 8 on Saturday.  First serve is set for 8:00 p.m. and live coverage will begin at 7:50 p.m. on ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM.

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