Moccasins Drop Three-Setter at No. 2 Tampa
TAMPA - Florida Southern continued its season-ending six-match here Saturday afternoon as they dropped a three-set match to second-ranked Tampa (10-25, 19-25, 19-25) in Sunshine State Conference action at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center.
With the setback, the Mocs fall to 19-12 overall and 8-6 in the SSC, while Tampa runs its win streak to 20 consecutive matches and improves to 27-1 overall and 14-0 in the league standings.
In Saturday's match, the Mocs struggled offensively as they were limited to an .000 hitting percentage as they had 24 kills and 24 attack errors on its 112 attack attempts, while UT, who clinched its ninth consecutive SSC title earlier this week with a three-set win at Rollins, hit .282 for the match and recorded 39 kills.
Junior right side hitter Gabby Fernandez (Tampa, Fla.) led the Mocs with eight kills and added seven digs, while senior middle blocker Dominique Hale (Kingman, Ariz.) had six kills and hit .200. The only other Moc to hit better in the match than Hale was sophomore setter Kendall Marotti (LaBelle, Fla.) as she hit .333 with three kills, 18 assists and nine digs.
UT dominated the first set as they hit .290 and had 11 kills en route to posting a 25-10 win. The Mocs hit -.105 in the set. It was the fewest points scored by the Mocs in a set since being held to 10 points in the third set against No. 1 ranked Concordia-St. Paul on Sept. 13.
In the second set, the Mocs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the set thanks to back-to-back kills by Hale and junior outside hitter Kate Stromberg (Lexington, Ky.), before UT used an 8-1 run to take an 8-3 lead. The Mocs, though, would answer with a 10-4 run to take a 13-12 lead following a service error by UT's Frances Cardenas. The Spartans would then score six of the next eight points to take an 18-15 lead. FSC would score two straight points to pull within 18-17, but the Spartans would close out the set by scoring seven of the set's final nine points to post a 25-19 win. In the set, FSC hit -.045 and UT hit .140.
UT jumped in front 2-0 in the third set and led 5-2 when the Mocs used an 8-6 run to pull within 11-10 following a kill by freshman middle blocker Rachel Mostert (Clearwater, Fla.). UT, though, would respond with an 8-3 run to push its lead to 19-13. The Mocs answered with a 6-4 run to pull within 23-17 following an ace by Fernandez. That would be as close as FSC would get, though, as UT scored two of the set's final four points to post a 25-19 lead. In the final set, FSC hit .200 and had 10 kills, while UT hit .483 and had 15 kills.
The Spartans were paced offensively by Berkley Whaley, who had 11 kills and 14 digs and hit .292, while Meagan Burke had eight kills and hit .333 and Holly Reschke added seven kills and nine digs in the win.
UT's defense, which recorded 54 digs and had seven total team blocks, was paced by 14 digs from Cardenas and four blocks from Burke.
FSC's defense recorded 49 digs and three total team blocks as junior libero Catherine Brusie (North Branch, Mich.) paced the Mocs defense with 20 digs, while Fernandez had two blocks.
The Mocs, who have dropped five straight matches, will conclude the regular season next weekend with road matches at Barry on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. and at Florida Tech on Saturday, Nov. 23.