STEVENSON, Md. – Franklin & Marshall traveled to Stevenson, Md. on Saturday for a trimatch with hosts Stevenson at 1:30 p.m. before taking on Rowan at 3:30 p.m. F&M lost the opener 3-1 (25-16, 25-22, 27-25, 25-14) before cruising to a 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-20) victory in the second match. Following the split, F&M moved to 12-12 overall while remaining 4-3 in Centennial Conference (CC) play.
In the second match, F&M asserted control early over Rowan by jumping out to leads of 10-4 and 15-6 thanks to strong serving from Alyssa Sanchez and Ellie Ezekiel. The Diplomats extended the lead to double digits at 20-10 before reeling off five straight points to run away with the set, 25-10.
F&M held the Profs to a -.161 hitting percentage in the frame while logging 11 kills of its own.
The following set saw more of the same dominance from the Diplomats, opening up leads of three (3-0), six (10-4), and eventually 10 (20-10). Shae Murphy served out the set for F&M, a 25-13 victory.
The Diplomats hit .524 in the set, committing just one error.
Rowan kept the score closer in the third, with the score tied 12-12 midway through the frame. However, strong F&M hitting proved to be too much as the Diplomats hammered 15 kills (six from Ezekiel) in the set to pull away and win 25-20.
Allison Edelstein recorded 32 assists over the three sets, while Ezekiel served up four aces, tying her high for the season.
The first match posed a significantly greater challenge for the Diplomats. After dropping the first set 25-16, F&M appeared set to lose the second as well, down 21-14 late on. However, a late 11-1 run, including seven straight points on the serve of Jaclyn Laforgia, gave the Diplomats the second 25-22.
After the remarkable second-set comeback, F&M appeared poised to take control of the match, tying the third at 19-19. This time it was Stevenson using a late run to emerge victorious, 27-25.
The fourth set saw the Diplomats lack the punch of the previous tightly-contested sets, as Stevenson hit .385 to take the fourth set and win the match, 25-14.
Kapustin led the F&M offense with 16 kills. Rachel Umberger contributed 12, followed by 10 from Ezekiel.
Mary Leneweaver rallied the defense with 23 digs, and was closely followed by 22 from Sanchez.
The Diplomats return to action next Saturday, hosting Washington College and Washington & Lee for a trimatch at the Mayser Center.