LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall celebrated seniors Katie Foreman, Kelsey Michenko, and Alyssa Sanchez by hosting a trimatch featuring Washington College and Washington & Lee. In the first match, F&M claimed a crucial 3-1(25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19) victory over Centennial Conference (CC) opponent Washington before dropping the second match to W&L 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-20). With the split the Diplomats moved to 13-13 overall and 5-3 in CC competition.
The opening match against Washington contained a close first set, with neither team leading by more than five until F&M took a 23-17 lead late in the frame. Barbara Kapustin provided the finishing touch, claiming her fourth kill of the set as the Diplomats took the set 25-21.
Ellie Ezekiel notched six kills in the opener as F&M logged a .239 team average.
The second set saw the Diplomats take command in the middle of the frame, leading by as much as six at 17-11. A quick 4-0 run brought the Shorewomen to within two, but F&M again pulled away to win, 25-21.
The third set saw more close action, with the score tied at 21-21. Washington's Sarah Bentley was able to serve out the set as the Shorewomen stayed alive, 25-21.
After starting the set with a 4-0 run, the Diplomats again found themselves in a tight set at 10-10. Five points from the serve of Parys Zambas again gave F&M the lead, but Washington again fought back to tie it at 17-17. Eventually the Diplomats overcame the resilient Shorewomen, getting three late kills from Kapustin to take the set and match, 25-19.
Ezekiel led the way with 16 kills, while Kapustin and Rachel Umberger pitched in 14 and 12, respectively.
Sanchez led the defense with 18 digs, and was aided by Ezekiel with 17. Michenko recorded 3.5 total blocks, including two solo efforts, in the victory.
The second match found F&M locked in another tight first set. With the score tied at 14, the Diplomats made a 5-0 run fueled by the serve of Mary Leneweaver to take a 19-14 lead. F&M would only expand that advantage, getting back-to-back kills from Michenko to close out the set 25-18.
The Diplomats got four kills each from Ezekiel and Foreman to boost the team average to .333 in the set.
The second set looked destined to be close as well, but an 8-3 run in the middle of the set gave the Generals a 16-9 lead, ultimately winning the set 25-18.
After dropping the second F&M looked ready to respond, taking a 17-14 lead late in the third. However, W&L began to close the gap, tying the score at 23. The Diplomats retook a slight advantage at 25-24, but a late run gave the Generals the set, 27-25.
W&L needed no late comeback in the fourth, taking leads of 10-3 and 19-9. A late F&M run closed the gap to four, but the Generals held on for the match-clinching victory, 25-20.
Foreman led the Diplomats with 13 kills, hitting .333 in the match. Ezekiel also reached double digits with 12.
Allison Edelstein provided 45 assists in the effort, while Leneweaver led the team with four service aces.
F&M returns to action on Wednesday, traveling to Gettysburg for another vital CC showdown full of playoff implications. That match is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.