Diplomats Advance to CC Finals; Down Hopkins 3-2

Diplomats Advance to CC Finals; Down Hopkins 3-2

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Down two sets to one, Franklin & Marshall's volleyball team rallied to defeat Johns Hopkins 3-2 in the Centennial Conference (CC) semifinals. The Diplomats return to the CC finals for the first time since 2006 and will take on Swarthmore, a 3-2 winner over Haverford, tomorrow at 1 p.m at Haverford.

The deciding set included seven lead changes and five ties as each team battled for the CC finals.  Hopkins built an early 10-9 lead and extended that to a 14-12 match point advantage. F&M rallied scoring four straight points to win the match and advance to Sunday's championship game.

F&M started off the match with an easy 25-10 set one victory, before finding itself in a 2-1 hole.  Hopkins escaped with a 25-23 set two win and picked up the third 25-20, setting up the Diplomats' comeback.

The Diplomats opened up the fourth set with four straight points, but the Blue Jays rallied with a three-point run to come within one at 12-11.  F&M countered with a 10-5 run to go up 22-16. Hopkins did not back down, fighting its way to a 24-21, before F&M took the set 25-21.

Kerry Rom and Nicole Morano led the way for the Diplomats on offense, each collecting 14 kills. Sydney Seydel and Candice Tussing collected 13 and 10 kills respectively. Pam Horner had 52 assists and a team-high 16 digs. Katy May and Lis Power finished with 12 digs apiece and Rom had 13.  Jessica Poucel picked up four service aces and seven kills.

Melissa Cole finished with 16 kills and digs to lead the way for Johns Hopkins. Alice Diehl had 22 digs and Becky Paynter earned three service aces.

F&M advances to its sixth CC finals as the Diplomats look to win their fifth championships.

Franklin & Marshall def. Johns Hopkins 25-10,23-25,20-25,25-21,16-14

Franklin & Marshall (21-6) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Kerry Rom 14-1-1; Nicole Morano 14-0-6; Sydney Seydel 13-0-2; Candice Tussing 10-1-3; Jessica Poucel 7-4-2; Pam Horner 5-2-1; Lis Power 1-1-0; Stephanie Armstrong 0-2-0; Katy May 0-1-0; Totals 64-12-8.0. (Assists) – Pam Horner 52. (Dig leaders) - Pam Horner 16; Kerry Rom 13; Katy May 12; Lis Power 12; Candice Tussing 8
 
Johns Hopkins (19-12) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Melissa Cole 16-0-1; Sarah Feicht 12-0-2; Brittany Zimmer 9-1-0; Carolyn Mickelson 7-2-2; KC Stingl 4-0-1; Amelia Thomas 1-0-0; Becky Paynter 0-3-2; Totals 49-6-4.0. (Assists) - Becky Paynter 48. (Dig leaders) - Alica Diehl 22; Melissa Cole 16