HOOVER, AL - Florida Southern College volleyball picked up a pair of wins at the South Region Crossover on Saturday to extend its winning streak to six-straight matches. The Moccasins (13-6) took down Valdosta State by a 3-0 score in the first match of the day and capped things off with a 3-2 victory over North Alabama in the nightcap. FSC has now won nine of its last 10 matches, five of which have come via the sweep.
Florida Southern returns to Sunshine State Conference action with a pair of home matches next weekend against Barry (Oct. 20) and Nova Southeastern (Oct. 21).
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST VALDOSTA STATE
• Florida Southern was in control through most of the match against Valdosta State, winning in a sweep by scores of 25-17, 25-14, and 25-17. The Moccasins trailed just six times over the three sets and were never behind by more than one at any point in the match. In the first set, the Blazers got out to an early 3-2 lead but were unable to hold on for long as the Mocs scored three in a row to take the lead and never trailed again. Valdosta State trailed by just three (19-16) late in the set, but Florida Southern took control with a 4-0 run to extend the lead en route to a 25-17 first-set win.
• In the second set, the Blazers again took an early lead (2-1) but the Mocs were able to slowly build momentum and soon held a 17-8 advantage. Just moments later, the Moccasins would snag their first double-digit lead of the set at 19-9 and would roll to a 25-14 second-set win when Allie Geary put down the final kill of the set.
• The third and final set saw the Mocs build a 14-8 lead before the Blazers answered with a 4-0 run to force an FSC timeout with the score at 14-12. Florida Southern was able to steady itself after the break and, clinging to a two-point lead (18-16) late in the set, ripped off a 7-1 run to close things out and take the match in a sweep.
• Anna Tovo led the Moccasins with 12 kills and also had eight digs. Geary and Sydney Marshall each finished with nine kills and combined for six blocks, four from Geary and two from Marshall. Bethany Besancenez tallied 36 assists and Gabby Fresh was FSC's leader in digs with 10.
• The Mocs hit .277 on the attack while holding the Blazers to just .150, and tallied seven blocks to VSU's one. Florida Southern also finished with eight service aces and held Valdosta State to one.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST NORTH ALABAMA
• Florida Southern and North Alabama played one of the most entertaining matches of the entire weekend, going to five sets as each squad responded to challenges from the others. In the first set, the Moccasins seemed to be in total control with a 16-9 lead midway through, but the Lions ripped off a 7-0 run to tie things at 16-16. The Mocs were able to get back in front on the next point but UNA came back again to take its first lead of the set at 18-17. After rallying to get in front 24-21, the Mocs nearly led the lead slip away but were able to stifle a late rally by North Alabama to take a 25-23 first-set win.
• The Moccasins looked as if they make take the second set as well as they raced out to a 10-6 lead, but the Lions battled back to tie things at 14-14 moments later. With the score tied at 19-19, North Alabama scored four points in a row to take a four-point lead (23-19) and used the momentum to finish off the Mocs, 25-20, and tie the match at 1-1.
• Florida Southern answered back in the third set with a 25-21 win. The Mocs were able to overcome an early deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the early stages and never trailed again. A 6-0 run by the Mocs midway through the set turned a 12-12 deadlock into a sizeable 18-12 advantage and proved to be the push that FSC needed to take the set and a 2-1 match lead.
• The fourth set was an intense back-and-forth battle that remained close until North Alabama went on a quick 4-1 run to turn a one-point lead into a four-point cushion (19-15). The Moccasins were able to get within two (22-20) late in the set, but the Lions finished things out for a 25-21 fourth-set win to send the match to a decisive fifth set.
• With the score tied at 9-9 in the final set, the Moccasins gained the lead with three points in a row and UNA was unable to battle back as Florida Southern took a 15-12 set victory to clinch the match.
• Tovo tallied 28 kills against North Alabama and also added 15 digs. Nicole Mattson had 20 kills of her own and led the Mocs with 20 digs. Geary finished with seven kills and six total blocks while Marshall had six kills and three blocks. Rachael Martin added six kills and two blocks.
• Florida Southern hit .270 on the attack while holding UNA to .265, and finished with eight service aces. The Lions finished with a 9-8 edge in blocks and both squads committed eight service errors.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 7-0 all-time against Valdosta State and 17-5 all-time against North Alabama. The Moccasins have won 15 of their last 17 contests at the annual South Region Crossover, and are 9-1 in their last 10 matches this season.
• Besancenez pushed her career assist total to 3,177. She currently ranks sixth in school history in assists and also recorded her 800th career dig on Saturday, finishing the day with 811 for her career.
• Tovo moved into sixth place in school history with 1,365 kills after entering the day ranked eighth in the FSC record books. Geary increased her career block total to 327 to move into 9th place in school history in career blocks.