Volleyball falls to #22 Florida Southern in SSC opener

Volleyball falls to #22 Florida Southern in SSC opener

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo volleyball team fell in their Sunshine State Conference opener on Friday evening to nationally-ranked No. 22 Florida Southern, 3-1; 25-20, 28-26, 25-20, 31-29, in a hard-fought battle.

The Lions, now 5-4, 0-1 in SSC play, started slow offensively as they put away only eight kills in the first set, and committed eight hitting errors as well. Oppositely, the Mocs, 7-1, 1-0 SSC, put down 14 kills on a team hitting percentage of .265.

In the second, Saint Leo started picking up the offensive pace, putting down 10 kills, while FSC put down 19 kills, but they committed 15 total errors to help keep the Lions in it. But it was not enough as the Mocs were able to take the set, and jump to a 2-0 set lead.

Out of the break, the Lions jumped out to an early lead, and they never relinquished it in the set. They saw sophomore Avery Bradshaw come off the bench and put down four kills and add two blocks, while senior Britt Sederholm put down five of her kills in the third as well. Saint Leo used a 71-percent side-out percentage to help run the efficient offense.

In the fourth and deciding set, Saint Leo came out flat, starting in an 11-4 hole. However, a kill from Bradshaw ignited the offense, and the Lions went on a 6-1 run to close the gap to 12-11. From there two squads battled. Following an 18-18 tie, FSC strung together five-straight points looking to close the match with a 23-18 score. Behind the serve of Bradshaw, the Lions were able to take a 23-22 lead. From there, the two teams went back-and-forth, until a kill by freshman Annabella Arcari blasted the Mocs defender on the ten-foot line, giving the Lions a 29-28 lead. But three-straight Mocs points sealed the set and the match.

Sederholm led the Lions with a double-double, putting down 13 kills, adding 15 digs and a block. Arcari had herself a match as she tallied a season-high 10 kills on an impressive clip of .400, adding a team-best six blocks as well. Bradshaw added nine kills in just two sets. Senior Jamee Townsend scooped up a match-high 24 digs, while freshman setter Anna Garrett dished out 42 assists.

The Mocs saw four different players register double-figure kills, led by Nicole Mattson who put away 15. Anna Tovo added 14 and 12 digs, while Rachel Mostert added 13 kills and five blocks, including two solos. Allie Geary added 10 kills and seven blocks, including one solo.

Saint Leo returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m. as the head to the University of Tampa to take on the No. 16-ranked Spartans. 

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo volleyball, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube