Florida Volleyball in NCAA Sweet 16

After a 3-0 shutout against No. 24 Miami Friday, the No. 16  Florida Gators will advance to the Regional Semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship. In the first round of 16 they will meet with No.1 ranked Louisville.

Florida

For the 27th time in program history, Florida is ranked in the top 16. They look to redeem themselves after falling to No. 1 Wisconsin in five sets in last years regional finals. Florida’s history in the top 16 includes 25 regional semifinals, 13 regional finals, eight national semifinals and two national finals. The Gators’ road to their 28th Regional Semifinals in program history was full of highs and lows.

The team is fresh off of a dominant performance over the Hurricanes in the second round of the tournament. The Gators claimed all three sets in the series 25-15, 25-20 and 25-16 to improve to 22-8 overall and 14-4 in SEC play. The team is also celebrating securing head coach Mary Wise’s 1,000th career victory in the win over Florida A&M in the first round.

Thayer Hall and Sofia Victoria each finished Friday’s game with 13 kills apiece. Victoria’s role on the team has expanded and been felt following teammate T’ara Ceasar’s decision to forgo postseason play. Hall has also been dominant this season and is definitely a player to watch going into the Sweet 16. Her stellar performance this season earned her a spot on the All-SEC Team.

Other Gators on the All-SEC Team include Ceasar, Lauren Forte and Marlie Monserez. Gators Merritt Beason and Bre Kelley were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Louisville

https://twitter.com/UofLVolleyball/status/1467308994431750151?s=20

Following the departure of longtime powerhouse teams Stanford and Penn State from the tournament, Louisville snagged the throne for a perfect season. The Cardinals improved to 30-0 after a dominant performance over Ball State 29-27, 25-11 and 25-19. The Cardinals are the first ACC team to earn a No. 1 ranking in conference history.

The win marks the Cardinals first 30 win season since 2012. It also marks the program’s third-straight Sweet 16 appearance.

Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly was named the 2021 ACC Coach of the Year.

Additionally, seven Cardinals found themselves named to All-ACC Volleyball Team Honors.

All-ACC First Team: Setter Tori Dilfer, Outside Hitter Anna DeBeer, Middle Blocker Anna Stevenson

All-ACC Second Team: Outside Hitter Claire Chaussee, Middle Blocker Amaya Tillman, Libero Elena Scott, Opposite Hitter Aiko Jones

Up Next

The matchup between No. 1 Louisville and No. 16 Florida begins on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. The last time the two teams met was Aug. 30, 2019, when the Gators swept Louisville 3-0.

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