WARRENSBURG, MO - Florida Southern College volleyball suffered a pair of setbacks on the opening day of the season at the Peggy Martin Challenge on Friday. The No. 4 Moccasins (0-2) were topped by Truman State (1-0) by a 3-1 final in the first match of the day and were on the losing end of a 3-0 score against Drury (2-1) in the final match of the day. Florida Southern will face No. 22 Central Missouri (2 p.m.) and Missouri Southern State (6 p.m.) tomorrow to close out the season-opening tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST TRUMAN STATE
- The Mocs fell behind early in the first set against the Bulldogs and never recovered as Truman State opened the match with a 25-12 first-set win. The Bulldogs scored the first three points and never trailed, leading by as many as 14 points en route to a 1-0 match lead. Southern would bounce back with a 26-24 come-from-behind victory in the second set to even things at 1-1. After falling behind 3-0 in the early going and facing a 19-15 deficit late in the set, the Moccasins ripped off a 6-0 run to take a 21-19 lead and scored three-straight to rally from a set-point situation to take a 26-24 second-set win.
- In the third set, Florida Southern led by four points (11-7) in the early going, but the Bulldogs scored four-straight points to even things up and used a 6-1 run midway through to snag a 21-17 lead en route to a 25-22 third-set win and a 2-1 lead. The Moccasins scored the first two points of the fourth and final set, but Truman State used an early 5-0 run to jump back on top (5-2) and never trailed again en route to a 25-19 win and a 3-1 match victory.
- Nicole Mattson led the Moccasins with 18 kills, while Buse Ene had 10 in her Florida Southern debut. Bethany Besancenez had 33 assists, while Gabby Fresh led Florida Southern with 17 digs and Mattson added 13 of her own. Three different Bulldogs tallied 10 or more kills, with Natalie Brimeyer leading the way with 14, and Truman State finished with a 7-3 edge in blocks. The Mocs hit just .161 on the attack and allowed the Bulldogs to tally nine service aces. Florida Southern fell to 1-4 all-time against Truman State, as the Bulldogs have won each of the last four meetings.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST DRURY
- After hanging tough with Drury through the first set, the Moccasin offense was held in check over the final two sets in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Drury. The Panthers raced out to an 8-1 lead in the first and led by a 17-8 score late in the first, but Florida Southern battled back to pull within one (21-20) in the late stages. It would not be enough, however, as Drury closed things out with a kill to take a 25-22 victory and a 1-0 match lead.
- Following the comeback attempt, the Moccasins ran out of gas as the Panthers dominated the final two sets by scores of 25-7 and 25-11 to come away with the sweep. The Mocs never led at any point in any of the three sets, but three players did record at least 10 digs. Besancenez had 19, while Fresh and Mattson each had 10. Florida Southern fell to 1-1 all-time against Drury in the first-ever meeting between the teams since 2000.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Mattson finished the day with 25 combined kills to increase her career total to 1,147. She needs just 124 more to crack the top 10 in school history in career kills. Besancenez finished the day with 48 combined assists, putting her at 3,998 for her career. She needs just 23 more to move into a tie for third in program history in career assists.
- The Mocs were limited to just .085 on the attack for the day but did pick up six service aces. A total of four Moccasins made their college debuts on Friday including Ene, Anica Popadic, Tierra Porter, and Hailey Williams.
- Florida Southern will take on tournament host No. 22 Central Missouri at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and will close out the weekend at 6 p.m. against Missouri Southern State. The Mocs open their home slate next weekend at the annual Terrace Hotel Classic, which runs from Aug. 31 - Sept. 1 at Jenkins Field House.