LAKELAND - The Moccasins Volleyball team is set to open the home portion of its 2012 schedule here Tuesday evening as they host Minnesota State-Moorhead in a 7 p.m. match at the Hollis Wellness Center on the FSC campus. The match is being played at the Wellness Center due to Jenkins Field House being used for the school's annual College Fair.
The Mocs enter the home opener sporting a 1-3 record after opening the 2012 season this past weekend at the Western Oregon Volleyball Classic in Monmouth, Ore. At the tournament, the Mocs dropped three hard-fought matches and collected its only victory on Friday over Missouri S&T in a three-set sweep.
At the tournament, sophomores Gabby Fernandez (Tampa, Fla.) and Kate Stromberg (Lexington, Kent.) led the way offensively for the Mocs as they recorded a combined total of 111 kills and 89 digs. For the four matches in Oregon, Fernandez slammed home 56 kills, averaged 4.0 kills per set and had 46 digs, while Stromberg recorded 55 kills, averaged 3.93 kills per set and had 43 digs. Additionally, Fernandez recorded three double-doubles and Stromberg had two double-doubles.
Along with Fernandez and Stromberg, junior setter Ali Skayhan (Beaverton, Ore.) turned in some strong performances playing in her home state as she recorded three double-doubles, hit .310 on offense and recorded three matches with 30 or more assists, including a season-high 46 assists in the Mocs final match against Cal State L.A.
"We are excited to return home and get the chance to play in front of our home crowd," Mocs coach Jill Stephens said. "MSU-Moorhead will provide us with some strong competition on Tuesday, so we better be ready to play."
Tuesday's match will be the first of 10 home matches this season for the Mocs and one of only two home non-conference matches. FSC will host Lincoln Memorial in a non-conference home match on Oct. 7.
While FSC enters the match sporting a 1-3 record, its opponent on Tuesday, Minnesota State-Moorhead is fresh off three wins in four matches this past weekend at the season opening Rollins College Invitational. At the tournament, the Dragons, who are members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, posted a three-set win over Chestnut Hill and four-set victories over 19th-ranked Eckerd and 22nd-ranked Rollins. The lone loss for MSU-Moorhead was a three-set setback against California [PA].
Leading the way for the Dragons is senior outside hitter Heidi Lensing, who is averaging 3.43 kills and 2.14 digs per set, while freshman middle blocker Kaitlin VanWinkle is averaging 2.57 kills and 1.14 blocks per set. MSUM runs a two setter attack as sophomore Sam Sullivan has recorded 84 assists and senior Anna Olson has dished out 78 assists in four matches.
Following Tuesday's match, the Mocs will return to the road as they travel to Boca Raton this weekend to compete at the Lynn Classic. FSC will face Assumption and Valdosta State on Friday, Sept. 7 and conclude the tournament on Saturday, Sept. 8 against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.