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The No. 4 Badgers Were Defeated by the Gators in Front of an All-time High Attendance.

MADISON, Wisc. — On Friday night, the 16th-ranked Florida volleyball team prevailed against the No. 4 Wisconsin team in a nail-biting five-set match, while simultaneously breaking a new regular season attendance record for the NCAA with 16,833 people in attendance.

Florida improves to 8-2 on the season moving into the SEC portion of the season, while Wisconsin’s record drops to 5-2 as a result of the loss.

In front of the largest crowd in the history of the event, the Florida Gators put on a display and won the first set, 25-21. This was the first opening set that Wisconsin had lost since September 2nd. After that impressive showing, Florida went on to win the second set 25-18 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match. The third set went to extra points, but Wisconsin emerged victorious with a score of 28-26. They then went on to win the fourth set with a score of 25-13. After falling behind in the fifth, Florida eventually overcame the deficit and won the game by a score of 15-13.

The difference in the game was the Gators’ defence at the net, which held the Badgers to a hitting effectiveness of only.115. This was the key to Florida’s victory. During the five-setter, the University of Florida recorded 16.0 blocks as a team, with Bre Kelley’s seven blocks leading the way. Gabrielle Essix contributed five points to the victory, while Alexis Stucky and Marina Markova each contributed five points.

Merritt Beason had a performance that was a career high with 21 kills, which allowed Florida to have a successful offensive effort. Essix contributed 10 kills to the victory, and Markova added eight of her own to the total.

Alexis Stucky, who plays for Florida, was instrumental in dictating the speed of the game and dished out 45 assists, which tied her career high.

Elli McKissock finished the match with 18 digs, making her Florida Gators’ backcourt defence the one to look up to for leadership. In addition, Trinity Adams contributed 10 digs of her own to the victory, while Beason and Victoria racked up a total of eight and six, respectively.

During the victory, Beason had the most service aces for her side with three, followed by McKissock and Emily Canaan, each of whom had one.

Wednesday will mark the beginning of conference action for the Gators when they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Exactech Arena. On SEC Network +, coverage will begin at 7 o’clock in the evening.

Gators in Front

How It Happened

At the beginning of the match, Wisconsin established an early lead of 8-5, but the Gators dug themselves out of the hole and tied the frame at 10-apiece. Following back-to-back points scored by Markova, Florida seized their first lead since the 3-2 mark, putting them in the driver’s seat with a 13-11 advantage. UF maintained its lead up to the media timeout, at which point it took a two-point advantage into the halftime break. After the timeout, Wisconsin got within one point, making the score 15-14, but Florida went on a 4-1 run to regain the lead at 19-15 and force the Badgers to call a timeout of their own. Florida’s lead was pushed to only two points by Wisconsin, which brought the score to 23-21, but the Gators were able to hang on for the victory, which was 25-21.
In the first inning, Florida hit.257 while the Gators held Wisconsin to a.086 batting average. In the opening set, Essix had the most kills for the team with four, and Markova was just behind her with three.
In the second set, it was the Gators who got off to a fast start, taking the lead with a score of 5-2 to force a timeout from the Wisconsin Badgers. After the halftime break, the Gators built a seven-point lead at the 12-5 mark thanks to a service run from Beason. They went on to win the game. The Badgers went on a brief run of two points to draw within five points of the lead, but Florida quickly went back up to a seven-point advantage and forced Wisconsin to call their second timeout of the game. The Gators were able to keep the Badgers at a distance, but after Wisconsin lowered the Gators’ advantage to just four points at 18-14, Florida called its first timeout of the set. The Gators went on to win the set. Beason served the Gators to a 23-16 lead coming out of the break, and the Gators went on to win the game 25-18, giving the Gators a 2-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, Florida had a hitting percentage of.194, while the Badgers were only able to hit at a.030 clip. The frame was led by Beason, who had five kills, followed by Stucky, who had three kills, and Kelley, who also had three kills.
Canaan served as the driving force behind the Gators’ 8-0 run that propelled them to a 10-5 advantage over Wisconsin in the third set, which Wisconsin was leading 5-2. The Gators of Florida were able to keep Wisconsin at a distance for the majority of the set, but after a 3-0 run by the Badgers brought them within three points at 19-16, the Gators were forced to use their first timeout of the match. Despite the fact that Florida scored a point after the break, the Gators were forced to utilise their final timeout of the period in order to maintain their 20-18 advantage. Wisconsin went on a 2-0 run during this period. Late in the game, the Badgers took the lead for good with a 6-2 run, but Florida came storming back to even the score at 24 all. The score was tied at 26 points apiece when Wisconsin went on a last 3-0 run to win the match 28-26 and force a decisive fourth set.
Beason posted a team-high six kills in the third set, followed by Markova’s four kills on five strokes to take second place in the kills category.
In the fourth and final set, Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead of 10-2, but Florida responded with a 3-0 run to get within five points of the Badgers. The Badgers extended their lead to as many as ten points at the 17-7 mark, and their 25-13 victory in the fourth set forced the match into a decisive fifth set.
Beason led the way for her side by recording a team-high five kills in the fourth set, which brought her total for the match to a career-high 18 kills.
The Badgers took an 8-5 lead into the media timeout in the fifth inning, but the Gators recovered to take the lead 9-8 after a Stucky service run immediately after the break. The teams continued to trade scores, but a solo block by Florida’s Victoria gave the Gators a two-point lead at 13-11, which prompted Wisconsin to call timeout. The Gators were able to maintain their lead and win 15-13 after the Badgers scored a point just after the timeout.
In the decisive set, Florida had a hitting percentage of.286, paced by Beason’s three kills and Essix’s two kills.

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