LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Southern College volleyball team will open the 2019 season at Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House on Sept. 6 as they host No. 5 Concordia-St. Paul at 3 p.m. and Hillsdale at 7 p.m. The second day of the Terrace Hotel Classic will see two more matches for the Moccasins against Indiana (Pa.) and No. 17 Central Missouri at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively. The Mocs are entering their second year under head coach Chris Keen, who led his squad to a 22-11 record and a South Region semifinal appearance in his first year at the helm.
"We are looking forward to the start of the season, our team has put in a lot of work through the summer and preseason and we are eager to kick things off in front of our home crowd," Keen said. "The fans will undoubtedly see some new faces on the court this year. This group represents nine different states and five different countries and brings a wealth of experience along with it. This should make for an exciting season for the Mocs and we are excited for it to begin."
Florida Southern returns junior middle blocker Rachael Martin, who last season earned AVCA All-America Honorable Mention and All-South first team honors, and sophomore middle blocker Tierra Porter, who last season ranked fourth in the conference and 19th nationally in total blocks (135). Keen also brings in new faces in four transfers and four freshmen representing six states and three countries.
This year's squad will look to build off of a 9-3 record in its last 12 matches of the 2018 season, including two 3-1 victories against No. 12 West Florida (Oct. 19) and eventual National Champion No. 9 Tampa (Nov. 10). The late-season run propelled the Moccasins into the postseason as they joined four other conference foes (Tampa, Barry, Palm Beach Atlantic, Saint Leo) in representing the SSC in the NCAA South Region Tournament.
The season opener against juggernaut Concordia-St. Paul (Sept. 6) will be the first matchup between the Mocs and the Golden Bears since the 2017 NCAA Championship match. Three of FSC's opponents in the Terrace Hotel Classic (Concordia-St. Paul, Hillsdale, Central Missouri) made regional tournaments last year and had a combined 74-24 record.
Southern will then hit the road for three matches at the USC Aiken Invite against USC Aiken (Sept. 13), Lander (Sept. 14) and Lee (Sept. 14). The Mocs will kick off SSC competition with two road matches at Saint Leo (Sept. 20) and Eckerd (Sept. 21) before the conference home opener against Embry-Riddle (Sept. 27) at 7 p.m