The volleyball team stands undefeated 3-0. Photo courtesy of Florida Southern Athletics

John Christovich | Sept.1, 12:37 p.m.
Snakebite Anchor

The beginning of the fall semester marks the return to action for numerous athletic teams.  The fall season is highlighted by FSC’s indoor volleyball team, the men’s and women’s soccer teams, and the cross-country team, all of which have already begun competition in some form.

The indoor volleyball team has already begun their regular season competition and currently stand undefeated through the first three games of the season. They are now on a five-game winning streak dating back to last season, when they finished with a record of 15-12 under Head Coach Chris Keen.

The squad opened competition with a closed-doors exhibition against Saint Leo University before hosting the FSC Volleyball Classic over a two-day span on Aug. 26 and 27. The invitational saw Lander University, Augusta University, and Bloomfield College visit the Jenkins Fieldhouse for a combined eight matches. The Moccasins were able to defeat all three teams, going 9-1 in sets over the course of the weekend.

With a 3-0 record in hand, FSC is set to embark on a lengthy road trip all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska where they will compete against four other Division II institutions. The team is excited for the change in venue, especially with the invitational being in such a unique location.

“The whole team is extremely excited. I don’t think any of us have been to Alaska besides [Chris Keen] so we’re happy we’re able to go there,” said Mackenzie Petermann, a second-year player. “We don’t really see those teams [often], so we’re going to focus on what we need to get done, and what we have to do to win those games.”

The team is set to play on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3 before eventually coming back to Florida to play in St. Petersburg on Sept. 8, beginning the in-conference schedule.

The big game circled on the calendar for the team will come on Sept. 9, when the Mocs welcome in the defending national champions (and FSC rivals), the University of Tampa.

The men’s soccer team has begun their regular season already as well, defeating Delta State University on Aug. 28 by a score of 3-1, after losing their season opener to Mississippi College.  

They will have their first two home games of the season this weekend, with a match against the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Sept. 2 and another against Montevallo on Sept. 4.

The men’s team went 6-8-3 last year, qualifying for the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) tournament after compiling a winning record amongst SSC opponents during the regular season.

Head Coach Ashley Holmes returned for his second season with the Moccasins and was able to recruit multiple transfer students for this year’s team.

The biggest standout that the Mocs were able to claim is graduate student Henri Tophoven, who just transferred from Wisconsin University, a Division I team, after originally starting his playing career at Mercyhurst.

The addition of Tophoven paid off almost immediately for the men’s team, as the 6-foot-1 native of Germany scored his first goal as a Moccasin in the win over Delta State.

The Mocs will look ahead particularly to a matchup with Nova Southeastern University coming up on Sept. 10. That game will be the first of ten in-conference games this season—plus, Florida Southern will seek vengeance after the Sharks knocked the Moccasins out of the playoffs last year, ending their season.

On the women’s side, the team is also two games through their season, with two ties to show for their efforts.

It’s an interesting start to the season for a team with 18 brand new players on their roster, and just 13 returners from last year’s team. Head Coach Paul Lawerence returned for a fifth season this year, attracting multiple new recruits from the transfer portal as well.

Morgan Collica transferred to Florida Southern after playing 65 games with Ohio University, and Lindsey Meyer joined the team after three seasons with Northern Kentucky, two renowned Division I programs.

Among the returners include sisters Caitlyn and Brooke Lowery, who are expected to continue to have a veteran presence on the field. Caitlyn led the team in goals last season with seven across 16 games played while Brooke led all Moccasins in minutes with well over 1400, playing in every single game. 

Florida Southern is looking to build on an underwhelming 2021 campaign after they finished with a record of 5-9-2 last year. As a result, they were predicted to finish last this season in the SSC pre-season coaches’ poll.

“We’re undefeated but we haven’t won a game. So you can look at it two ways really,” said Head Coach Paul Lawerence after his team settled for a tie for the second consecutive game.

“It’s a good thing to not get beaten, I always say that if you’re not gonna win the game…it’s important to not get beaten.”

Sophomore Haley Thomassy has the lone goal of the season for Florida Southern so far, a team now looking to get their first win starting on Sept. 2 with a game against Spring Hill College on the road.

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams have been in training since moving back to campus in the middle of August. The team runs as a unit and conditions every day in preparation for their first meet of the year.

Both squads are scheduled to compete at the Eastern Florida State College Fall Classic on Sept. 10 in Melbourne, Fla. The teams have four meets on the calendar right now before the SSC Championships on Nov. 5.

Last year, the women’s team was led by Ellie Fluman, who will return for her third year after placing ninth individually in the SSC in her second season. Meanwhile, the men’s squad will be led by seniors Alex Guy and Brady Zimmerman after three all-region runners graduated this past season.

The Mocs will have the honor this year of hosting the NCAA Division II South Region Championship at Holloway Park on Nov. 19. They’ll look to qualify for a chance to compete in the championships over the course of the next few months through the currently-scheduled meets.


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