LAKELAND, FL - A furious rally late in the match proved to be too little, too late as Florida Southern College volleyball lost its first home contest in over a year in a 3-1 loss to Barry on Friday night in Sunshine State Conference action at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (13-8, 8-5 SSC) fell behind by two sets and nearly came back to force a fifth, but the Buccaneers (19-2, 11-2) were able to hang on for their fifth-straight win.
In the process, the Mocs saw their home win streak snapped at 26, and lost at home to an SSC opponent for the first time since Oct. 28, 2016. Nicole Mattson (16) and Rachael Martin (10) led Florida Southern in kills, but the Moccasins could not overcome a strong offensive effort by Barry, which was led by Megi Buvinic's match-high 21 kills. Southern wraps up the weekend at home on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Lynn.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The first set of the evening featured an incredible start as the teams traded jabs back and forth until the score stood at 14-13 in favor of the Bucs. A five-point run from Barry would give the Buccaneers some breathing room at 19-13 and would provide Barry with the momentum it needed to win the first set by a 25-19 final.
- In the second set, the Bucs dominated early by jumping on top by double digits (15-5) and led 18-8 in the late stages. The Moccasins were able to get within nine points on several occasions in the final moments, but Barry cruised to a 25-15 second-set win.
- Florida Southern was able to rally in the third set and avoid the sweep with a 25-18 win. After trailing 3-1 in the early stages, the Mocs ripped off a 7-1 run to take an 8-4 lead and never trailed again. FSC led by as many as eight points late in the set, and Martin laid down the set-clinching kill to force a fourth frame.
- The fourth and final set was much like the first as it remained close for almost the entirety of the set. The Moccasins held a three-point lead (16-13) midway through, but the Buccaneers scored five points in a row to go up by two (18-16). Florida Southern bounced back to grab a 23-21 advantage and had set-point twice in the late going, but Barry was able to come up with three-straight points and take a 27-25 set victory to win the match.
- Neither team hit particularly well on Friday as the Moccasins posted a .179 attack percentage while the Bucs finished at just .176. Despite failing to hit above .200 in either of the first two sets, the Mocs hit .312 in the third set and held Barry to just -.053. The Mocs tallied 13 blocks to Barry's 10, but the Buccaneers had nine service aces while the Mocs had eight service errors. Bethany Besancenez led the team in assists (40) while Gabby Fresh tallied a team-best 18 digs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern fell to 40-33 all-time against Barry including a 22-11 mark at home. Prior to Friday's loss, the Mocs had won 26-straight home contests dating back to Sept. 2, 2017, and had won 19 in a row when facing SSC foes at home.
- The 26-match home win streak will go down as the fourth-best in school history. The Moccasins won a school-record 47-straight home games from Oct. 11, 1988 - Oct. 12, 1991. FSC also has stretches of 29 and 28-straight home victories, the former of which came from 1992-94 and the latter from 1981-82.
- Mattson upped her career kill total to 1,482, and needs just 15 more to move into fifth in school history in career kills. With 1,166 career digs, Mattson is just 18 kills away from becoming just the fifth player in school history with 1,500 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
- Besancenez continued to inch toward a school record for career assists. She has now posted 4,781 for her career and needs 948 to tie Jordan McAfee's school record of 5,729. At her current pace of 39.57 assists per match, she is projected to finish with 5,176 assists to become just the second player in school history to surpass 5,000.
- Florida Southern will face Lynn at home on Saturday at 4 p.m. before heading to Orlando for the annual South Region Crossover next weekend. The Mocs will face three opponents from the Gulf South Conference, and matchups will be announced on Monday. The Moccasins end the regular season with road contests at Nova Southeastern (Nov. 2) and Palm Beach Atlantic (Nov. 3) and home matches against Rollins (Nov. 9) and Tampa (Nov. 10).