WESTMINSTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall pulled out two close sets to defeat McDaniel 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23) on Wednesday night in Centennial Conference (CC) volleyball action. The win took the Diplomats to 11-11 overall and 4-3 in the conference, while the Green Terror fell to 12-6, 3-2 in CC play.
The fourth and final set was a tight one, with McDaniel holding a slight 21-20 advantage in the late stages. Ellie Ezekiel provided some clutch hitting, reeling off three straight kills to give F&M a 23-21 lead. Ultimately, Allison Edelstein and Cassie Garison teamed up to win the set and match on a block assist, 25-23.
Ezekiel had seven kills in the set to propel the Diplomats to victory. F&M hit .261 in the set to close out the match.
The first set saw McDaniel take the lead early, going up by as much as four at 10-6 and 12-8. The Diplomats fought back to tie the set at 22-22, and back-to-back kills from Rachel Umberger closed out the frame for F&M, 25-23.
The second saw the Diplomats take control early, leading by as much seven at 11-4 and 20-13. F&M pushed that lead to as much as nine, ultimately winning 25-16.
The Diplomats hit .500 in the set, recording 16 kills with only two errors. Barbara Kapustin nailed six kills to lead the charge.
F&M appeared ready to close out the match early in the third, but a 15-10 run by the Green Terror gave the set to McDaniel, 25-18, setting up the dramatic fourth set.
Ezekiel led a balanced Diplomat attack with 15 kills. Kapustin followed with 14, while Umberger and Cassie Garison each pitched in 10.
Four F&M players reached double digits in digs, led by Alyssa Sanchez with 23. Ezekiel recorded 16, Mary Leneweaver tallied 15, and Allison Edelstein contributed 12. Edelstein also led all players with 48 assists on the night.
With her 23 digs, Sanchez now has 1,533 in her career. She is just 33 shy of third place in F&M history (Julie Simpson, 1,576).
The Diplomats return to action on Saturday, traveling to Stevenson for a trimatch. F&M will face the hosts at 1:30 p.m. before facing Rowan at 3:30 p.m.