LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College volleyball wrapped up the annual Terrace Hotel Classic by splitting a pair of matches on Saturday at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (2-2) started the day with a 3-1 win over New Haven (0-4), before falling in five sets to No. 12 Western Washington (3-1) in the finale.
The Moccasins will head to Colorado next week to take part in the annual Colorado Premier Challenge in Denver, where they will face four opponents in two days.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST NEW HAVEN
• Despite entering the day 0-2, New Haven came out strong against Florida Southern and was able to take a hard-fought first set by a 29-27 score. The Moccasins held a 22-19 lead late in the set but the Chargers called a timeout and were able to regroup, tying things up at 23-23 just moments later. FSC had chances to put the Chargers away as the Mocs had set point three different times, but could not close it out as New Haven rallied for a first set victory.
• Florida Southern was able to turn it on in the second set, cruising to an easy 25-16 victory to steal the momentum. Holding a 13-10 lead midway through the set, the Mocs used a 6-0 run to take a commanding 19-10 lead and never were in danger.
• The third set was another dominant effort by the Moccasins, who never trailed en route to a 25-13 set victory. Only three times during the set did the Chargers score back-to-back points, but not before Florida Southern had already built a double-digit lead.
• In the fourth and final set, the Chargers were able to keep it close until a late 4-0 run by the Mocs turned a 17-14 advantage into a 21-14 lead. Nicole Mattson dominated the match, tallying 26 total kills and hitting a blistering .511 on the attack. Anna Tovo (14) and Whitney Drost (11) also had double-digit kills while Bethany Besancenez finished with 59 assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST WESTERN WASHINGTON
• In the second match of the day, Florida Southern was able to grab early momentum by taking a 25-21 victory in the first set against No. 12 Western Washington. Despite falling behind 3-0 early, the Moccasins were able to rally and used a late 8-1 run to turn a 16-13 deficit into a 21-16 lead en route to the win.
• The second set was close throughout the first half, but the Vikings blew the set wide open by turning a 10-9 advantage into a 23-10 lead thanks to a 13-1 run midway through. The Mocs were able to mount a 4-0 run late in the set, but could not overcome Western Washington's surge and dropped the set by a 25-17 final.
• The third set saw the Vikings again cruise to a set win, grabbing a 25-16 victory, but the Mocs answered with a dominant fourth set to take a 25-15 win and set the match to a decisive fifth set. Western Washington raced out to a 5-0 lead in the fifth set but despite its best effort to rally, Florida Southern could not complete the comeback and fell to the Vikings for the second-straight time.
• Florida Southern will travel to the Colorado Premier Challenge in Denver, where it will play four games in two days on Sept. 8-9. The Mocs will play Angelo State at 1 p.m. on Friday before finishing the day against tournament host Metro State at 8 p.m. and will face two opponents who have yet to be determined on Saturday.
• The Moccasins open Sunshine State Conference play at home on Sept. 15 against Eckerd before traveling to Saint Leo on Sept. 16.