Monday, 4 March 2024

NCAA Womens Volleyball

The six most iconic moments from the 2023 DI women’s volleyball tournament

The six most iconic moments from the 2023 DI women's volleyball tournament

Capping off a season that saw unprecedented action on the court and support in the stands, the 2023 NCAA DI women’s volleyball tournament was held at the biggest scale of its 42-year history. Reflecting on this historic tournament, some moments specifically stuck out:


1. Indoor attendance record getting smashed not once… But TWICE

If you need more evidence that volleyball is growing, listen up. 

Volleyball Day in Nebraska broke the overall attendance record for any women’s sporting event at the beginning of the season (92,003 fans), and the national semifinal matches broke the indoor attendance records for the sport TWICE at the end of the 2023 campaign. The semifinal matches held on Thursday, Dec. 13 (Nebraska vs. Pitt, Wisconsin vs. Texas) saw 19,598 fans, which was an increase of about 850 fans from the previous record of 18,755 (2021 National Championship). Then, just three days later, the record was shattered again with 129 more fans in the stands for the National Championship, setting the indoor attendance record at 19,727 fans.

Previously held on ESPN, this year’s national final was broadcasted on ABC — for the first time in college volleyball history — during the 3 p.m. window, opposite NFL games. Though sharing this window with the NFL, the 2023 National Championship amassed 1.7 million viewers, up 115% from the 2022 National Final with 786,000. This year’s semifinals were also the most-watched ever with 1.1 million viewers tuning in. 

🚀 VOLLEYBALL SKYROCKETS: How the 2023 volleyball season set records in attendance and TV ratings

2. Arkansas’ historic run

The Razorbacks exceeded expectations in this year’s tournament, clinching their first-ever regional final bid in program history. And, the icing on the cake, they did it by beating their arch-SEC rival for the first time since 2012.

Full 5th set: Arkansas vs. Kentucky in the 2023 NCAA volleyball tournament

Arkansas bulldozed through Stephen F. Austin (3-0) and TCU (3-1) to reach Kentucky in the regional semifinals. In a five-set barnburner against the Wildcats, four Arkansas players posted double-doubles, led by graduate OH Jill Gillen’s 20 kills and 12 digs on a .391 clip. Arkansas hadn’t beaten Kentucky in over a…

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