TAMPA, Fla. – In their first NCAA South Region appearance since 2009, the Saint Leo volleyball team fell to the Florida Southern Mocs by a 3-2 score (29-27, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-11), Thursday night from the Martinez Center on the campus of the University of Tampa.
Florida Southern took the first point of the match, but Saint Leo quickly responded, regaining the lead at 9-8 in the first set. After the Lions forced a three point lead, the Mocs were able to tie the score at 15-15. Five lead changes later, both teams battled for every point, as Florida Southern came up with the 29-27 set victory.
After a short break, the Lions came out swinging, taking a quick lead until the Mocs gained a 14-13 lead halfway through the set. Soon after, Saint Leo tied the score at 14-14, but Florida Southern surged ahead to 25-21 second set victory.
As expected, every point in the third set was a battle for both squads. With no team leading for more than three consecutive plays, the lead changed hands a total of twelve times, and Saint Leo took home a 25-23 set win.
With a Florida Southern point to lead off the fourth set, The Lions refused defeat, earning an exciting 25-19 victory to tie the match at 2-2.
In the fifth and final set of the game, the Florida Southern Moccasins garnered the momentum needed to bring home a 15-11 set win, taking the match.
Despite the loss, junior Lauren Campbell led all players in the match with 16 kills. Senior Jordan Sisson added 12 kills to the effort, while junior Tawni Warren notched ten in the loss. Aiding her offense, senior setter Jaclyn Mailoto collected 43 assists.
Defensively, Yaidimar Santiago led her team in digs with 22, while Campbell tallied 18 and junior Tawni Warren notched 15.
As a team, the Lions collected 55 kills in the effort, tallying 76 digs and nine team blocks. The squad earned a .157 attack percentage.
The Moccasins will face the winner of Tampa and Kentucky State tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. in the Martinez Center on the campus of the University of Tampa.
After being picked eighth in the Sunshine State Conference preseason poll, the Lions end the regular season with an overall record of 23-11 and a second place finish in the SSC. The squad boasted a 10-6 conference record, five All-SSC selections, two AVCA award winners, and three Sunshine State Conference Players of the Week in the 2013 season.
For more on the Saint Leo volleyball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and 'Follow' Saint Leo Athletics on Twitter and Instagram.