LAKELAND, FL - A dominant team defensive performance and an outstanding offensive night from Tierra Porter helped Florida Southern College volleyball roll to a 3-0 victory over Saint Leo on Tuesday night in Sunshine State Conference action at Jenkins Field House. The Moccasins (11-6, 6-3 SSC) picked up their fifth-straight victory and improved to 10-0 at home this season while avenging last month's road loss to the Lions (8-9, 5-4).
Porter matched a season-high with 10 kills and hit a blistering .667 on the attack, and the Mocs held Saint Leo to a hitting percentage of just .095 en route to their 26th consecutive home victory, and their 19th-straight home win in conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern used a 6-1 run early in the first set to turn a 5-4 advantage into a sizeable 11-5 lead. Saint Leo would rally back to pull within one (16-15) toward the latter stages of the set, but the Moccasins scored six of the next seven points to make it 22-16. The Lions were able to get within three (22-19) in the closing moments, but three-straight errors by Saint Leo proved to be the difference as Florida Southern snagged a 25-19 first-set win.
- The second set saw the Mocs jump out to a 5-1 lead before the Lions found their groove. Neither team was able to gain any sizeable advantage until late in the set when Saint Leo found itself up 22-19. However, Southern was able to rally back with six-straight points to take a 25-22 second-set win and a 2-0 match lead. Five of the final six points came with Nicole Mattson at the service line. She would put down a clean ace for the final point of the set.
- The Moccasins jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the final set and never trailed. Although the Lions were able to tie things at 6-6, the Mocs were in control for the majority of the set as they led by as many as six points (20-14) in the final moments. Saint Leo trimmed the deficit to two (24-22), but Porter ended the match with an emphatic kill to make the final 25-22 and send Florida Southern to its fifth-straight win.
- In addition to her 10 kills, Porter also tallied four block assists. Mattson finished with eight kills and a team-best 18 digs, while Gabby Fresh netted 16 digs. Bethany Besancenez had 33 assists and 11 digs, and Makena Wilson also tallied double-digit digs with 10. Rachael Martin chipped in with eight kills and two blocks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 75-10 all-time against Saint Leo, including a 40-1 record when facing the Lion at home. The Moccasins have not dropped a home contest since Sept. 2, 2017, and have not lost to an SSC foe at home since Oct. 28, 2016.
- Mattson upped her career kill total to 1,417, and needs 80 more to move into fifth. Besancenez now has 4,643 career assists and needs 1,086 more to set the school record, held by FSC Hall of Famer Jordan McAfee.
- The Moccasins face a tough test on Friday when they travel to No. 8 Tampa, and finish the weekend on Saturday at Rollins. A three-match road swing ends with a trip to Eckerd on Oct. 9 before Florida Southern returns home to face Barry (Oct. 12) and Lynn (Oct. 13). The Mocs play just four of their final 14 regular-season matches at home.