WARRENSBURG, MO - Nicole Mattson tallied 23 kills and Florida Southern College volleyball picked up its first win under new head coach Chris Keen in a 3-1 win over Missouri Southern State (0-4) in its final match of the Peggy Martin Challenge on Saturday. The Moccasins (1-3) finished off the weekend with a win after falling to No. 22 Central Missouri (4-0) by a 3-0 final earlier in the day. Florida Southern opens its home schedule next week with four matches at the annual Terrace Hotel Classic, the first of which comes on Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. against Ferris State.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST No. 22 CENTRAL MISSOURI
- Despite forcing extra points in the third set, the Mocs never really challenged the Jennies as Central Missouri cruised to a 25-5 win in the opening set of the day. The Jennies got out to a 6-0 lead and never led by less than that the rest of the way en route to a first-set win. In the second set, Southern also found itself down early (5-0) and was never able to recover as Central Missouri earned a 25-15 win for a 2-0 lead.
- In the third set, the Mocs raced out to an 8-0 advantage and led 23-16 in the late stages. But the Jennies rallied back to tie things at 24-24 and the teams traded set points over the next several moments before Central Missouri came out with a 29-27 win to clinch the match.
- The Jennies were incredibly effective on offense, limiting Florida Southern to just .106 on the attack and coming away with five total blocks. Whitney Drost tallied a match-high eight kills for the Moccasins while Mattson finished with seven. Central Missouri countered with 15 kills from Audrey Fisher and 11 more from Kylie Hohlen. Florida Southern fell to 4-5 all-time against the Jennies, including a 1-1 mark when facing Central Missouri on the road.
HOW IT HAPPENED AGAINST MISSOURI SOUTHERN STATE
- The Moccasins went up 1-0 after a 25-20 first-set win and took the third and fourth sets after the Lions won the second set to snag their first win of the Chris Keen era. Florida Southern stormed out to a 10-3 lead in the opening set and never trailed. Missouri Southern pulled within three (23-20) late in the first set, but kills from Mattson and Anica Popadic closed out the first set. The Lions led wire-to-wire in the second set to snag a 25-16 victory and even the match at 1-1.
- Florida Southern responded in dominant fashion by winning the final two sets via 25-16 and 25-14 set victories. Although Missouri Southern got out to a 1-0 lead in the third set, the Mocs quickly rallied with four-straight points to jump back in front and would not trail for the remainder of the match. The Moccasins led by as many as 12 points in the final set and the FSC defense limited the Lions to just .153 on the attack.
- Mattson tallied 23 kills on 62 attack attempts and added 10 digs with two service aces. Tierra Porter had 10 kills, and Drost finished with nine. Bethany Besancenez went for a double-double with 50 assists and 16 digs. The Moccasins improved to 2-1 all-time against Missouri Southern as the teams met for the first time since 1999. Saturday's meeting was the first-ever neutral-site meeting between the two programs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Mattson finished the day with 30 kills over two matches, while Besancenez had 70 assists and 29 digs. Besancenez increased her career assist total to 4,068, moving into third place in school history and becoming the fourth Moccasin all-time to reach 4,000 assists. Mattson pushed her career kill total to 1,177, and needs 94 more to move into the top 10 in school history.
- Florida Southern opens its home slate next weekend with four matches at the annual Terrace Hotel Classic. The Mocs will open the weekend on Aug. 31 against Ferris State (3 p.m.) and will also take on Drury, Catawba, and West Texas A&M in the tournament. Southern will face Eckerd at home on Sept. 4 to open Sunshine State Conference action.