F&M Falls to No. 2 Hope in NCAA First Round

F&M Falls to No. 2 Hope in NCAA First Round

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, - Franklin & Marshall fell to No. 2 Hope (Mich.) 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday at Wittenburg University.

The Diplomats finished out the season with a 21-12 mark, while Hope (29-2) advances to the Second Round where the Flying Dutch will take on Juniata (27-7).

Hope led by four points early in the first set at 8-4 and extended the advantage to 14-9, however F&M scored five straight to tie the set at 14-14. From there, both teams traded points and the Flying Dutch took a two-point lead at 21-19 before winning the last four points of the set to take it 25-19 for a 1-0 lead in the contest.

The second set began with Hope scoring seven of the first 11 points for a 7-4 lead. The Diplomats battled back to tie the contest at 9-9 off a kill by Katie Foreman, and F&M took the lead at 10-9 off a Flying Dutch attack error. The set remained close at 14-14 until Hope rattled off six straight points to take a 20-14 advantage.

The Diplomats came storming back in the set to bring the score to 23-22 in favor of the Flying Dutch, but an Anna Lynch kill and Jayne Kessel service ace clinched the second set at 25-22 to give Hope a 2-0 lead in the contest.

Hope jumped out to another 8-4 lead in the third set, however an 8-6 run by F&M cut the Flying Dutch's lead to 14-12. From there, Hope opened up a seven-point lead off a 7-2 run to take a 21-14 advantage. The Flying Dutch went on to win the set 25-20 to take the match 3-0.

Ellie Ezekiel paced the offense with nine kills and six digs, while Caroline Hubbard recorded 26 assists. Foreman finished with seven kills, while Alyssa Sanchez tallied 11 digs.

Jenna Grasmeyer led Hope's offense with 14 kills, while Lauren Hazekamp had 34 helpers.

F&M's seasons ends after the Diplomats won the program's sixth Centennial Conference (CC) Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.