The Wisconsin Badger volleyball team earned a hard-fought victory over the eighth seeded Florida Gators Monday night. The Elite Eight match went to five sets, marking the first time all year the Badgers played a fifth set.
Wisconsin fought off an impressive Gator comeback in the first set to win 30-28. Florida rallied in the second set to win comfortably, 25-18. Wisconsin took the third set 25-22, but the Gators would not go away. Florida won the fourth set 25-18 to force a fifth. In that fifth set, Wisconsin was down 6-9 before a Molly Haggerty kill brought UW within two points. From there, the Badgers went on an 8-3 run to win the set and along with it, the match, 15-12. A Dana Rettke block sealed the deal for the number one seeded Badgers.
It came as close as it gets, but (1) @BadgerVB secured the win!#NCAAVB pic.twitter.com/DujSpPtQZQ
— NCAA Women's Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) April 20, 2021
The Badgers arguably played their worst match all season, while Florida played one of their best. Wisconsin looked out of sync and off their game during much of the match, struggling with serve receive and picking up dumps and tips. In addition, they hit a season low .153. Nevertheless, UW persisted, getting back to a second straight Final Four, only the fourth appearance in school history.
Molly Haggerty led the Badgers with 17 kills and Dana Rettke was right behind with 16. Lauren Barnes and Giorgia Civita each had 17 digs, while setter Sydney Hilley dished out 49 assists on the night.
Wisconsin (18-0) will play fourth seeded Texas (26-1) Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the CHI Health Center in Omaha. The Badger volleyball team is only two victories away from bringing the first ever national title in program history to Madison. Wisconsin Sports Heroics will continue to cover Wisconsin’s quest for the title!
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