WEST PALM BEACH, FL - Florida Southern College volleyball suffered its first Sunshine State Conference loss of the season on Saturday, falling to No. 4 Palm Beach Atlantic by a 3-0 final at Rubin Arena. The Moccasins (7-6, 4-1 SSC) competed hard all day, but the Sailfish (12-0, 7-0) used late runs in the first and second set to take a commanding two-set lead en route to their 37th-straight home victory.
Florida Southern returns to action next Friday when it travels to Florida Tech before facing Embry-Riddle on Oct. 7. The Mocs will also face Saint Leo on the road on Oct. 10 before playing three South Region opponents at the GSC/SSC Crossover on Oct. 13-14.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern and Palm Beach Atlantic played close throughout the first half of the first set, as the score stood at 12-12 in the early stages. The Sailfish were able to score two-straight points to grab a 14-12 lead and force an FSC timeout. The points were part of a 5-0 run by PBA that gave the Sailfish a 17-12 lead. The Moccasins were never really able to recover as Palm Beach Atlantic took a 25-19 first-set win.
• In the second set, PBA used a nearly identical run midway through to turn a 12-12 deadlock into a 16-12 advantage. The Mocs were able to pull within one (18-17) later in the set, but Palm Beach Atlantic responded with four points in a row en route to another 25-19 set victory.
• Leading by two points (6-4) early in the third and final set, Palm Beach Atlantic reeled off seven points in a row to take a commanding 13-4 lead and the Mocs were never really able to recover as the Sailfish took a 25-16 third-set victory.
• Florida Southern had a slow night on offense, hitting just .190 on the attack while PBA was able to connect at a clip of .298. The Sailfish finished with seven service aces and did not allow the Mocs to record an ace. Anna Tovo tallied a match-high 16 kills, while Nicole Mattson added 13. Gabby Fresh (14), Bethany Besancenez (13) and Mattson (11) all finished with double-digit digs and Besancenez also added 32 assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern dropped to 8-8 all-time against the Sailfish. Palm Beach Atlantic has won five-straight in the series and swept its 11th opponent of the season. PBA's victory also gave it sole possession of first place in the SSC standings.
• Besancenez improved her career assist total to 2,903 and needs just 97 more to become just the ninth player in program history to record 3,000 assists. Allie Geary recorded four blocks on Saturday to push her career total to 299. She needs 20 more total blocks to enter the top 10 in the FSC record books. Tovo now has 1,275 kills and 974 digs and needs just 26 more digs to become the ninth player in school history with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career. She is now ranked ninth in school history in career kills.
• Florida Southern will play each of its next three Sunshine State Conference matches on the road. The Mocs are at Florida Tech (Oct. 6), Embry-Riddle (Oct. 7) and Saint Leo (Oct. 10) before facing three NCAA South Region opponents at the annual GSC/SSC Crossover on Oct. 13-14.