Diplomats Earn Split at Day One of F&M Scramble

Diplomats Earn Split at Day One of F&M Scramble

LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall volleyball took one of two matches at its own tournament on Friday, falling 3-1 to No. 13 Eastern before rebounding with a 3-0 sweep of Salisbury in the nightcap. The split moved the Diplomats to 8-2 on the year.

F&M took it to the Eagles early on in the first match of the day, using short 5-1 burst to open an early 9-5 lead. That deficit would hold steady, even reaching five at 18-13 following a kill by Grace Polisano. Eastern never got closer than two, and the Diplomats took the first 25-20.

Four kills from both Polisano and Cassie Garison led the offense in the frame.

The Eagles responded early in the second, slowly extending an 18-12 lead. However, some quality serving from Ellie Ezekiel cut the gap to one at 18-17. F&M eventually tied the set at 22, but clutch swings down the stretch gave the visitors the win, 25-22.

Eastern carried that momentum into the third, sprinting away to a 19-9 lead.  The Diplomats never got closer than nine as the Eagles took the third 25-15.

Determined not to go away easily, F&M took an early 9-6 lead in the fourth. A quick 5-0 run got Eastern back in front, but a kill from Christine Yoo returned the lead to F&M at 16-15. Still, the Eagles finished strong, taking the set 25-20 and the match 3-1.

Polisano finished the match with 12 kills to lead the Diplomats, while Ezekiel tallied nine and Garison recorded eight. Eastern's Stephanie Elechko led all players with 20.

Ezekiel paced the defense with 24 digs, while Mary Leneweaver (14) and Allison Edelstein (11) also reached double digits.

F&M's second match with Salisbury saw the Diplomats build on a quality performance against Eastern. F&M never trailed and led by as much as six en route to a 25-19 victory in the first. Yoo logged four kills as the Diplomats took the early lead.

The second set featured more of the same, as F&M never trailed and never allowed the Sea Gulls closer than two after a 3-0 run to start the frame. Four Diplomat players notched three kills in the set to fill out a balanced attack.

A relentless F&M attack finished the match as it started, once more going wire to wire in a 25-22 match-clinching victory. Five kills from Ezekiel sealed the deal as the Diplomats wrapped up the sweep.

Ezekiel recorded 10 kills to pace the defense while Yoo and Polisano both added nine, followed by Landry with eight. Edelstein dished out 40 assists as the Diplomats totaled 46 kills on the night.

Leneweaver pulled up 17 digs to lead the defense, while Ezekiel notched 15 digs and Polisano recorded 2 solo blocks in the romp.

F&M returns to Mayser tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. for a match with Ithaca before taking on Carnegie Mellon at 4:00 p.m.