No. 16 'Fish Hold Off Florida Southern, Win in Five

Written By: TJ Budd, Sports Information Director

Courtesy Ron HilliardCourtesy Ron Hilliard

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Sailfish were pushed to the brink but recovered just in time to defeat No. 21 Florida Southern 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 25-16, 18-25, 17-15) on Saturday afternoon in Rubin Arena. The win is the ninth straight for the Sailfish overall.

PBA (9-3) rebounded after a slow start in set one – trailing at one point 18-10 – and built some momentum, closing the gap to 23-20. Although unable to take that first set the ‘Fish used the momentum from the end to jump out to a 12-7 lead in set two. A seven point run, with Ally Rohn serving six of the points, pushed the lead even further to 21-13.

In the third the Sailfish again came out hot and used another run with Rohn at the service line to lead 19-10 on their way to taking a 2-1 advantage in the match. In the fourth it was the Mocs’ turn to take an early lead, 9-5, but PBA fought back to take a 10-9 advantage. After a timeout by Florida Southern it was all Mocs, winning 10 of the next 13 points. They finished the set by taking five of the final six.

Florida Southern continued their success into the fifth, leading 7-3 before PBA closed to within one at 7-6. The Mocs again pulled away at 11-8. The Sailfish finally pulled even at 12-12 but couldn’t overcome FSC. The Mocs had match point at 14-13 but Sarah Ragland picked up a kill after a timeout to give the ‘Fish hope. A ball handling error on the Mocs gave PBA their first match point but they wouldn’t capitalize until their next chance. After a service error from FSC, it was the block of Sarah Ragland and Abby Palkert on Anna Tovo that ended the match and kept the winning streak intact.

Molly Burkhardt posted her second triple-double of the season, recording 43 assists, 16 digs and 12 kills to go along with three blocks and an ace. The sophomore hit .440 for the match with just one error in 25 attempts.

Rohn led the team in kills with 15 while also adding 11 digs and three aces. Susie Forbes posted 26 digs while Katie Ballantyne added 10 of her own. Ragland and Olivia Finckel each had nine kills while Maddie Span came off the bench to collect seven. Ragland added seven blocks as the team produced nine for the match.

The Sailfish hit .202 for the match while the Mocs were just a touch better at .206.

PBA and Florida Southern will meet again later this year in Lakeland on Oct. 28. The ‘Fish will hit the road for nine of their next 10 contests, first travelling to Embry-Riddle and Rollins on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

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