- Florida def. Stanford 3-2, (25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 18-25, 15-10)
- Florida improves to 30-1, Stanford ends the season 30-4
- Florida advances to the NCAA Tournament finals
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Match Stats
The Florida Gators took down the reigning champions Stanford in a gritty five-set match to bring them back to the finals for the first time since 2003. The Gators will take on Nebraska in the finals, looking for their first-ever national title.
It came down to defense late in the match as Florida did not let the ball drop to the floor with long rallies commencing through the match and especially in the fifth set. Blocking played a big role for the Gators as well as they had 18 blocks assists as compared to Stanford’s 11.
Leading the Gators to the win was Rhamat Alhassan with 17 kills on a .517 hitting percentage along with four block assists. Carli Snyder put down 16 kills and nine digs on the night while Shainah Joseph posted 11 kills. Setter Allie Monserez dished out 30 assists and 12 digs for a double-double while Caroline Knop picked up 20 digs. Rachael Kramer posted big defensive numbers at the net with five block assists to go with eight kills.
For Stanford, Merete Lutz put down 19 kills on a .447 hitting clip while Kathryn Plummer contributed 16 kills and eight digs. On defense, Morgan Hentz picked up 25 digs while Kate Formico picked up another 12. Meghan Mcclure recorded a double-double in the loss with 11 kills and 12 digs.
Florida started off the match with a kill from Shainah Joseph, which set the tone for the first set. The Gators took a 16-11 lead in the first and eventually held match point at 24-20 after a Rachael Kramer kill. Stanford tried to fight back with kills from Kathryn Plummer and Merete Lutz but couldn’t finish with Florida taking set one 25-20 off a Joseph kill.
The second set started off with a 3-1 Florida run, which they were able to keep throughout the set until Stanford tied things up at 16 all. The Cardinals took an 18-16 lead off two Florida attacking errors but the Gators came back on a 6-0 run to go up 22-18. They took the 2-0 match lead off a kill from Mia Sokolowski 25-21.
Stanford turned things around in the third set to take a 15-10 lead over the Gators mid-set. They continued to build on their lead going up 24-17 only allowing one more point before Lutz put down the final kill of the set to bring Stanford back into the match 25-18.
The Cardinals started the fourth on a 4-0 run and built on the lead 11-2. This lead was enough to keep them safely ahead of the Gators and the ability to take the fourth set 25-18 off a Jenna Gray kill to force a fifth and deciding set for the second time in the semifinals as Nebraska downed Penn State in five sets.
The fifth set started back and forth with the score tied 4-4 early. The Gators went on a 4-0 run to force the switch of court. Florida continued to build on their lead to 11-6 but the Cardinals brought the score within two at 11-9 off a Florida hitting error. The Gators turned around to stuff Stanford along with a Carli Snyder kills to make it 13-9. Kramer ended the match with a kill to send the Gator to the finals for the first time since 2003.
Down go the defending champs! The Gators run continues to the title with a 3-2 victory (25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 18-25, 15-10)
It’s the second time Florida has advanced to the final match.@GatorsVB and @Huskervball will meet for the National Championship on Saturday night! pic.twitter.com/TgWUjxDuAC
— VolleyMob (@VolleyMob) December 15, 2017