Tonight the eleventh seeded Florida Gators will face off with the sixth seed Wisconsin Badgers in Austin, Texas for the third round of the NCAA tournament.
The (24-6) Gators are coming off of a 3-1 victory over rival Florida State as they finished off the season in the O-Dome as they ended it with a 14-1 home record. Florida came back from being down 1-0 in the first set taking the next three and advancing to this third round contest in the Lone Star State.
But according to senior setter Mackenzie Dagostino, the home field advantage limits extends to Austin as she calls Austin their second home. This is so because of the VERT challenge that took place September 4th-5th when the Gators won both of their games; first against the Oregon Ducks, then to host team Texas Longhorns.
The Gators are a strong team as Dagostino is 14th in assists per set and middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan is fifth in the country in blocks and second in blocks per set. Team as a whole also is second in hitting efficiency. Which ultimately led to the team leading the country in AVCA All- Region Honorees including Dagostino, Alhassan, setter Alex Holston, outside hitters Živa Recek and Carli Snyder.
Florida is 4-0 against Wisconsin all-time, but this team though has a tough challenge ahead with these Badgers as they are currently riding a remarkable 15 game winning streak where 10 of their last 12 ended with sweeps. This is also the third straight year where Wisconsin has advanced to regionals and this year they are 8-4 against nationally ranked opponents and the Gators are ranked 16 as opposed to the Badgers’ 10th rank.
The winner will go on to face UCLA or host Texas.