TAMPA -- Florida Southern opened up play Thursday in the NCAA Division II South Regional tournament by posting a thrilling five-set victory against fifth-seeded Saint Leo (29-27, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-11) in the third of four quarterfinal matches at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center.

The fourth-seeded Moccasins, who improved to 22-13 overall on the season, won the first two sets, including posting a 29-27 win in the first set, before watching the Lions storm back to win the third and fourth sets to set up a fifth and deciding set. In the fifth set, the Mocs collected a 15-11 win to advance to Friday's regional semifinals. It marks the third consecutive regional semifinal berth of the Mocs as opened last season's South Regional with a five set win against Eckerd in Tampa, before falling to Tampa in regional finals.

"I am really proud of team. SLU is a very dynamic team and they battled us tonight," Moccasin head coach Jill Stephens said. "We didn't very well in the first set and then we allowed them [SLU] to take the third and fourth sets. It was an exciting college volleyball match against two really good teams."