ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Florida Southern College volleyball cruised to its ninth-straight win with a 3-0 victory over Eckerd in Sunshine State Conference action on Tuesday evening at the McArthur Center. The Moccasins (16-6, 10-1 SSC) remained undefeated in the month of October while the Tritons (11-8, 4-7) dropped their second match in a row.
The Mocs will close out the month of October with road matches at Lynn (Oct. 28) and Tampa (Oct. 31) before wrapping up the regular season with five of their final seven matches at home.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Florida Southern got behind early in the first set as the home team took a 4-1 lead in the opening moments. The Tritons were able to maintain their lead through the majority of the first set, leading by as many as six points (16-10) before the Moccasins went on a 9-1 run to regain the lead and the momentum for good. Eckerd trailed by just one point (23-22) but Anna Tovo slammed the door with back-to-back kills to give FSC a 25-22 first-set win.
• The second set started off exactly the same as the first with Eckerd racing out to a 4-1 lead and pushing its advantage to 13-9 to force Florida Southern to take a timeout. The Moccasins responded out of the break with three points in a row to close the gap to 13-12 and were eventually able to take an 18-16 and force the Tritons to take a timeout of their own. Florida Southern led by four points (20-16) just moments later, but Eckerd cut the deficit to just one (20-19) with a quick 3-0 run. It would prove to be too little, too late as the Mocs scored the final five points of the set for a 25-19 second-set win and a 2-0 match lead.
• In the third set, Eckerd again got in front by a 4-1 score, only to see its lead slip away thanks to a 4-0 run by the Moccasins, who took a 6-5 lead early and never trailed again en route to a 25-21 third-set win. After trailing by as many as six points (20-14), the Tritons were able to get within two (23-21). However, Nicole Mattson would put down a kill and Eckerd would commit an attack error to seal FSC's 3-0 victory.
• Tovo led Florida Southern with 15 kills while Mattson added 12 and had a team-best 15 digs. Tovo and Gabby Fresh added 12 digs of their own, while Allie Geary, Sydney Marshall, and Rachael Martin each tallied six kills. The trio also recorded two blocks apiece, and Bethany Besancenez tallied 38 assists and 12 digs. The Mocs outhit the Tritons .281 to .154, finished with five service aces, and came up with five blocks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern improved to 73-10 all-time against Eckerd, including a 32-7 mark when facing the Tritons in St. Petersburg. The victory at Eckerd snapped a two-game losing streak to the Tritons at the McArthur Center.
• Besancenez pushed her career assist total to 3,287. She currently ranks sixth in school history and needs 528 more to move into fifth place. Besancenez has tallied 928 assists through 21 matches this season. She is averaging 11.32 assists per set this season, tops in the Sunshine State Conference and good for 18th nationally.
• Tovo increased her career kill total to 1,408 to move into a tie for fifth in school history. She needs 88 more to move into fourth place in the FSC record books. Geary increased her career block total to 334 and needs 31 more to move into eighth in school history.
• The Moccasins nine-match winning streak is the team's longest since opening the 2015 season with 12-straight wins. Florida Southern has won 13 of its last 14 matches this season and improved to 6-3 in road matches this year.
• During FSC's nine-match winning streak, the Mocs are outhitting opponents .242 to .175, have outblocked opponents 69-48 and have recorded 63 aces while allowing just 40. Mattson and Tovo have combined for 265 of Florida Southern's 458 kills during the win streak (57.9 percent), while the trio of Geary, Marshall, and Martin are responsible for 49 of the team's 69 total blocks (71.0 percent) during that span.
• Florida Southern closes out the month of October with road contests at Lynn (Oct. 28) and Tampa (Oct. 31). The Moccasins open the final month of the season with five-straight home matches, including pivotal SSC contests against No. 3 Palm Beach Atlantic (Nov. 3) and Saint Leo (Nov. 14).