LAKELAND, FL - Four different players tallied at least 10 kills as Florida Southern College volleyball turned in an extremely balanced offensive performance in a 3-1 in over Lynn on Saturday afternoon in Sunshine State Conference action at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (14-8, 9-5 SSC) bounced back from a loss on Friday to avenge a road loss to the Fighting Knights (11-10, 5-9) back in September.
Rachael Martin led the Mocs with 16 kills, while Nicole Mattson (13), Tierra Porter (12), and Buse Ene (10) also finished with double-digit kill totals, and Florida Southern held Lynn to just .149 on the attack to move to 11-1 at home this season. The Moccasins will play in the South Region Crossover in Orlando this coming weekend and will face three opponents from the Gulf South Conference. Matchups for the annual crossover will be announced on Sunday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Both teams treated fans to a highly-competitive first set as neither team was able to gain much of an advantage. Lynn held on to an early 8-5 lead, but the advantage was quickly erased when Florida Southern went on a 5-1 run to jump in front by one (10-9). Although the Mocs would never surrender the lead from that point on, Southern was also unable to push the advantage to more than three as the Fighting Knights kept things close. After Lynn pulled within two (24-22) in the closing moments, Ene put down the set-clinching kill to give FSC a 25-22 set victory.
- The second set was also close early on as the Mocs built a 13-12 lead midway through, but were able to use a 4-0 run to push their lead to five points (17-12). Florida Southern was able to stay in front the rest of the way, eventually pushing the advantage to eight points in the final minutes en route to a 25-17 second-set win. The Moccasin defense was impressive in the second set, holding Lynn to just .054 on the attack.
- In the third set, the most competitive of the afternoon, neither team would lead by more than three at any point or score more than two points in a row until late in the set. Trailing by two (20-18), the Mocs ripped off a 6-1 run and looked as if they had things won when they took a 24-21 lead. However, Lynn responded with a 5-0 run of its own to take a 26-24 set victory and force a fourth set.
- The fourth and final set was just like the previous three, close throughout, as neither team led by more than four at any point. After the Knights strung together four-straight to grab a 5-2 lead early on, neither squad would score more than three in a row as the set was deadlocked at 21-21 in the late stages. Florida Southern was able to pin Lynn to the wall with three points in a row to make it 24-21, but the Knights scored twice to get within one (24-23). It would prove to be too little, as Tierra Porter found an opening in the defense and put down the match-clinching kill for a 25-23 win.
- Martin's 16 kills came on the strength of a .583 attack percentage. She also tallied three digs and three blocks. Mattson had 13 kills, 16 digs, three blocks, and an ace, while Porter added six blocks to her stat line. Ene also added seven digs and three blocks to go with her 10 kills, and Gabby Fresh led Florida Southern with 19 digs. Bethany Besancenez put together another outstanding performance with 50 assists and 16 digs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 33-11 all-time against Lynn, including a 19-2 record when facing the Knights at home.
- Mattson upped her career kill total to 1,495, and needs just two more to move into fifth in school history in career kills. With 1,182 career digs, Mattson is just five kills away from becoming just the fifth player in school history with 1,500 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
- Besancenez continued to inch toward a school record for career assists. She has now posted 4,831 for her career and needs 898 to tie Jordan McAfee's school record of 5,729. She is on pace to become just the second player in program history with 5,000 assists. Besancenez also ranks 10th in school history in digs (1,261) and is just eight shy of moving into ninth place.
- Florida Southern will face three opponents from the Gulf South Conference at the annual South Region Crossover next weekend in Orlando. Matchups for the event will be made public on Sunday afternoon. The Moccasins close out the regular season with trips to Nova Southeastern (Nov. 2) and Palm Beach Atlantic (Nov. 3) before home contests with Rollins (Nov. 9) and Tampa (Nov. 10).