MELBOURNE, FL - Nicole Mattson and Anna Tovo each posted double-digit kills as Florida Southern College volleyball swept past Florida Tech in Sunshine State Conference action on Friday night. The Moccasins (8-6, 5-1 SSC) hit nearly .300 on the attack and held the Panthers (4-6, 2-5) to just .067 en route to their fifth win in their last six contests. The victory also kept the Mocs near the top of the conference standings. FSC will head to Embry-Riddle on Saturday at 4 p.m. to cap off the weekend.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern jumped out to a quick lead in the first set, snagging an 11-8 advantage early on. Florida Tech responded with a 5-0 run to take a 13-11 edge and force the Mocs to take their first timeout of the match. Florida Southern responded with six-straight points to jump back in front (17-13) and steal away the momentum. A late 4-0 run by the Panthers gave Florida Tech a 20-18 lead, but the Moccasins were able to rally and scored the final two points of the set on an FIT service error and a kill by Tovo to take a 25-23 win.
• The Moccasins dominated the second set by getting off to a fast start with six-straight points to open the set. Florida Tech never threatened as the Panthers could get no closer than five points (6-1) and found themselves down by double digits very early on (12-2). A late 5-0 run by the Mocs extended the lead to 20-4, and Sydney Marshall capped off the set with a kill to give the Mocs a 25-8 second-set win.
• Both teams battled hard throughout the early stages of the third and final set, but a 4-0 run by Florida Southern turned a slim two-point lead (9-7) into a sizeable six-point advantage (13-7) and Florida Tech never recovered. The Mocs finished off the match on a kill from Allie Geary to pick up their third-straight sweep of the Panthers.
• Mattson led all player with 19 kills, while Tovo finished with 13 and Marshall added seven. Mattson also had 13 digs and a pair of block assists. Tovo added a team-best 18 digs on the night and recorded four block assists, and Bethany Besancenez tallied 35 assists. The Mocs finished with a 12-2 edge in blocks and tallied four aces.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 65-7 all-time against Florida Tech, including a 29-6 mark in Melbourne. The Moccasins have won three-straight against the Panther and have swept Florida Tech in six of the last seven meetings between the teams. Each of Florida Southern's last four wins have come via a sweep, and the Mocs have swept five different opponents this year.
• Besancenez improved her career assist total to 2,938 and needs just 62 more to become just the ninth player in program history to record 3,000 assists. Allie Geary recorded seven blocks on Saturday to push her career total to 306. She needs 13 more total blocks to enter the top 10 in the FSC record books. Tovo now has 1,288 kills and 992 digs and needs just eight 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 and needs five more to move into eighth place.
• Florida Southern will square off with Embry-Riddle at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Daytona Beach. The Mocs will travel to Saint Leo on Oct. 10 for a 7 p.m. contest in a game that was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma. FSC will travel to the Hoover, AL to participate in the GSC/SSC Crossover on Oct. 13-14, where the Mocs will face three opponents from the Gulf South Conference. Matchups for the annual event will be determined next week based on the latest conference standings.