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UF Volleyball: Gators Season Comes to a Close in Regional Final

Photo by Isabella Marley

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY KATIE CALLAHAN

Florida falls to Wisconsin in a tightly-contested five-set battle; finishes the season 21-4 overall

The eighth-seeded Florida volleyball team left it all on the court but fell to the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in a thrilling five-set match in the Regional Final of the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament.

This season was one of great success for a Gator squad that continued its staggering streak of 30 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament – the third-longest active streak in the nation.

Florida also made its 17th Regional Final in program history and garnered 21 wins in this unprecedented split season.

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Wisconsin took the tightly-contested first set by a score of 30-28, but the Gators responded with a 25-18 victory in the second to even up the match at 1-1. The Badgers took the third set 25-22, but Florida answered right back with a 25-18 win in the fourth to force a deciding fifth set. Wisconsin clinched the match with a 15-12 victory in the final frame.

Florida’s offensive attack was led by Thayer Hall, who posted 23 kills on the evening – just two shy of her career-best. T’ara Ceasar followed with 17 kills in the five-setter, while Lauren Forte added 10.

Marlie Monserez anchored Florida’s offense, dishing out 46 assists on the night.

As a team, the Gators recorded 12.0 blocks and held the Badgers to a .153 clip in the match. Holly Carlton and Forte each notched seven blocks on the night to lead the way for Florida.

The backcourt defense was led by Elli McKissock, who posted 23 digs in the match. Monserez added 22 of her own – a new career-high for the junior – while Ceasar added 19 of her own, tying her career-best. Hall rounded out the Gators in double-digit digs, posting 16 in the five-setter.

Florida recorded seven service aces in the match, led by four from Ceasar.

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