LAKELAND, Fla. - Florida Southern College volleyball earned their first win of the season against Indiana (Pa.) and dropped the last match of the Terrace Hotel Classic against No. 17 Central Missouri on Saturday at the Streamline Sale Arena at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (1-3) emerged victorious over the Crimson Hawks (0-3) in a 3-2, five-set thriller in the morning before falling 3-0 to the Jennies (3-1) in the tournament finale.
Southern will hit the road next weekend for three matches at the USC Aiken Invite against USC Aiken (Sept. 13), Lander (Sept. 14) and Lee (Sept. 14).
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST INDIANA (PA.)
- The first set of the day saw a tight contest, with the Moccasins gaining two four-point leads (12-8), (20-16) and the Crimson Hawks both times regaining momentum to tie the set. IUP, down 20-16, capitalized on eight FSC errors to go on a 9-1 run to take the first set, 25-21.
- The Moccasins rebounded from the first set with an 8-1 run to start the second set as they benefited from five attacking errors by the Crimson Hawks. Indiana (Pa.) stifled the Moccasin rally as best they could but never led the set as the Moccasins used four service aces to win the set, 25-15.
- The third set favored the visitors at first as IUP ripped a 7-3 run, but attacking errors from the Crimson Hawks and five kills from Erica Ronda gave the Moccasins their first lead of the set (12-11). Florida Southern led by as much as four (21-17) before IUP brought the set even at 21. The stalemate would not be broken until Ronda tallied her eleventh kill of the set, giving the Moccasins the 28-26 third-set win.
- A back-and-forth affair ensued in the fourth set until both teams were tied at 20. IUP benefitted from three Moccasin errors to earn match point (25-20) and survived a small three-point comeback attempt from the home side to win the set, 25-23, and force a fifth set.
- Florida Southern never trailed in the fifth set, although IUP did force five ties in the set. The Moccasins pulled away at 9-7, going on a 6-2 run to win the set, 15-9, and the match, 3-2.
- Ronda recorded her first double-double as a Moccasin with 14 digs and 22 kills, the latter of which is the team-high for the 2019 season. Mika Garza put up her first double-digit assists performance of her career (43) in addition to four service aces and five digs. The Moccasins outhit the Crimson hawks .269 to .188.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST NO. 17 CENTRAL MISSOURI
- Central Missouri set the tone early in the first set, racing out to a 12-5 lead. The Moccasins stifled the Jennies with a 6-3 run, capped off by two service aces from Ronda to draw the set closer at 15-11. The Jennies answered back with a 10-6 run that ended with a Rylee Neigenfind kill to give the visitors a 25-16 first-set win.
- The second set saw the Moccasins cruise to an 8-4 lead on kills by Buse Ene and Tierra Porter. Central Missouri won 10 of the next 14 points to gain the upper hand at 14-12 and forced a Southern timeout. The Moccasins then earned six-straight points, capitalizing off of six Central Missouri errors and gained a four-point lead (18-14). However, the Jennies regrouped and mounted an 11-4 run to win the second set, 25-22.
- The Mocs and Jennies traded the lead for most of the third set, with no team leading by more than four the entire set and a total of 12 tie scores in the set. Florida Southern had a slight edge at the 22-20 mark in the set, but three kills from Hannah VanBuskirk helped Central Missouri earn five straight points to take the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-0.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Ene emerged as the kills leader for the Moccasins over the course of the Terrace Hotel Class, recording 44 in addition to seven blocks. Rachael Martin leads the team through four matches with a .253 hitting percentage, while Tierra Porter continues to make her presence known at the net with 16 total blocks and a 1.23 blocks per set mark. Newcomer Beatrice Formilan leads the team with 59 digs and 4.54 digs per set.
- The Moccasins are hosting the Terrace Hotel Classic for the seventh-straight year and after this weekend are still an overall 20-6 in those events.
- Ronda's 22 kills against IUP is the most for a Moccasin in a five-set match since Oct. 26, 2018, when Nicole Mattson tallied the same against Florida Tech. Ronda finished the day with 31 kills and 30 digs.
- Aggressive serving was the hallmark of the Florida Southern and Indiana (Pa.) match, with the two combining for 20 total aces and 28 total errors.
- Southern will hit the road next weekend for three matches at the USC Aiken Invite against USC Aiken (Sept. 13), Lander (Sept. 14) and Lee (Sept. 14).