Diplomats Win CC Crown; Earn NCAA Berth

Diplomats Win CC Crown; Earn NCAA Berth

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Pam Horner had 42 assists and 15 digs to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 3-0 victory over Swarthmore in the Centennial Conference (CC) Volleyball Championship Sunday. The victory gives the Diplomats the conference's automatic qualifier bid in the NCAA Tournament.  

The title is the fifth in F&M history. The last one was won in 2000, head coach Mary Kate Boland's senior season.

F&M (22-6) found itself in an early 9-7 hole, before tying set one at nine apiece.  The Diplomats went on a 6-2 run to take a commanding 15-11 lead. The Garnet (19-11) battled back to come within a point at 16-15, before F&M scored four straight points to go up 20-15.  A kill by Kerry Rom made 24-17, before a service error and a kill by Horner gave F&M a 25-18 set one victory.

Set two mimicked the first as the Diplomats trailed 4-6 early before scoring five straight to take a 9-6 edge.  F&M built its lead to 19-14, but the Garnet countered with a 6-2 run to come within one at 21-20.  Rom picked up two more kills down the stretch for a 25-22 set win.

The Diplomats jumped out to 6-2 lead in the third set, but Swarthmore strung together a 9-6 run to make the score 12-11 in F&M's favor. The Diplomats answered with a 9-4 run of their own taking a 21-15 advantage, but the Garnet would not go away, tying the set at 22.  F&M finished strong with three straight points to take the set 25-22 and the conference crown.

Nicole Morano finished with 14 kills and three block assists. Morano picked up nine block assists this weekend to become F&M's all-time career leader with 212. Rom had eight kills in the contest and picked up 10 digs. Jessica Poucel collected four service aces and Sydney Seydel finished with nine kills.

Swarthmore was led by Allison Coleman with 22 assist and eight digs. Hillary Santana finished with nine digs for the Garnet.

F&M will find out its fate tomorrow when the NCAA announces the 63 teams in the championship field. You can watch the NCAA selection online tomorrow at 11 a.m. by clicking here.