LAKELAND, FL - Florida Southern College volleyball scored a massive upset in Sunshine State Conference action on Friday by upending No. 9 Palm Beach Atlantic, 3-1, at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (9-6, 4-3 SSC) set the tone early by dominating the Sailfish (14-2, 6-2) in the first set and rolled to their 24th-straight victory at home. The victory is Florida Southern's third-straight and pushes the Mocs' home record to a perfect 8-0 this season.
Southern wraps up the weekend against Nova Southeastern on Saturday at 4 p.m. and will finish a five-match homestand on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against Saint Leo. Friday's win marked the 15th-consecutive home win against conference foes.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Moccasins set the tone early by racing out to a 9-3 lead in the first set and forcing Palm Beach Atlantic to take an early timeout. The Sailfish were able to chip away at the deficit and pulled within three (16-13) in the middle stages but Florida Southern ripped off five-straight points to make it 21-13, and Rachael Martin closed things out with a service ace to give FSC a 25-18 first-set win.
- In the second set, neither team was able to gain an edge until midway through when the Mocs found themselves up by five (17-12). PBA was able to get back within three several times, including 23-20 late in the set, but a Sailfish service error and a kill by Whitney Drost made the final 25-20 as Florida Southern took a 2-0 match lead.
- Neither team led by more than three points until the closing moments of the third set. With the scored at 20-20, Palm Beach Atlantic caught fire and the Sailfish reeled off five-straight points to take a 25-20 set victory and stay alive for at least one more set. PBA scored two of its final five points, including set point, on a pair of blocks.
- After finding themselves down by three (9-6) early in the fourth set, the Moccasins scored four-straight points to take a 10-9 lead and force the Sailfish to take a timeout. PBA came out of the break and tied things at 10-10, but the Mocs scored three in a row to take the lead for good. A kill from Tierra Porter and an attack error by Palm Beach Atlantic would prove to be the decisive points as Florida Southern closed things out with a 25-19 win in the fourth.
- Martin led the Moccasins with 13 kills, while Nicole Mattson had 11 and Drost added nine. Porter tallied seven kills and six blocks (one solo, five assists), and Anica Popadic recorded eight kills and three blocks (one solo, two assists). Florida Southern recorded 14 team blocks to tie a season-high and held PBA to just .077 on the attack.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 10-8 all-time against Palm Beach Atlantic, including a 9-2 mark at home. The Moccasins have won 24-straight home contests dating back to Sept. 2, 2017. The victory was the 17th-straight in SSC matches at home. FSC's last home loss in conference action came on Oct. 28, 2016. FSC's win marked its first victory over a ranked opponent this season.
- The Sailfish, who entered play ranked 57th nationally in attack percentage (.225) and 23 in kills per set (13.95) were held to just .077 on the attack and 46 total kills (11.50/set). FSC's 14 total blocks are the most by any PBA opponent this season, and the most surrendered by the Sailfish since Nov. 4, 2017 (15 vs. Tampa).
- Bethany Besancenez recorded 42 assists on Friday to push her career total to 4,573. She needs 1,157 more to set the school record, held by FSC Hall of Famer Jordan McAfee. Mattson upped her career kill total to 1,399. She needs just 10 more to move into fourth place in school history in career kills.
- Florida Southern will host Nova Southeastern on Saturday at 4 p.m. before wrapping up a five-match homestand against Saint Leo on Oct. 2. The Mocs then hit the road for three-straight against Tampa (Oct. 5), Rollins (Oct. 6), and Eckerd (Oct. 9).