LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's volleyball team opens 2017 by hosting the Crosstown Crossover tournament, taking on local rivals Elizabethtown, Lancaster Bible, and Messiah throughout next weekend. Play begins on Friday, Sept. 1 at 7:00 p.m. as F&M takes on Elizabethtown. The Diplomats then face both Lancaster Bible and Messiah on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
F&M starts the season looking to carry on the momentum that led them to the Centennial Conference (CC) Playoffs last season. The Diplomats' season was cut short in the first round, but with an experienced, young lineup, F&M has its eyes set on their 10th straight tournament appearance and their eighth CC Championship.
The Diplomats brought in nine freshmen looking to offset the loss of a seven-member senior class that included three key starters. A major deficit will come in the absence of program record holder Ellie Ezekiel, who amassed 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs, making her one of just seven Diplomats to reach both milestones, and one of just two players in the 1,000/1,000 club to add 100 blocks and 100 service aces.
To watch the 2017 video roster, click here.
Players to Watch
RS/MH – Cassie Garison – Sr.
OH – Grace Polisano – So.
OH/MH – Christine Yoo – So.
L/DS – Shae Murphy – Sr.
Garison starts her senior year as the foundation of the offensive attack in the middle. She tallied 174 kills last season and five out of her 33 blocks were solo. She also earned five service aces.
Polisano comes off an impressive freshman season. She recorded 267 kills, placing her second on the team, while she ranked third with 27 service aces. Polisano also acquired 162 digs and 25 total blocks.
Yoo, a sophomore outside hitter, led the team with a total of 63 blocks, 10 of which were solo. She also recorded 158 kills and was second on the team with 28 service aces.
In a preseason poll of conference coaches, defending champions, Johns Hopkins was selected as top in the CC with seven first-place votes and 96 total points. Swarthmore collected three first-place votes and amounted 85 total points, Muhlenberg finished third, collecting a total of 76 points, while the Diplomats earned one first-place vote and 73 total points to come in fourth. Haverford followed in fifth with 65 points.
To see complete poll results, click here.
The Road Ahead
Continuing a tough non-conference schedule that sees F&M compete against 10 regionally ranked and eight NCAA tournament teams, the Diplomats travel to Scranton on Sept. 6 for a 7:00 p.m. matchup. The Diplomats then host the F&M Scramble from Sept. 8-9, featuring competition with top programs in Lebanon Valley College, Penn State-Altoona, and York.
CC action beings on Sept. 20 when the Diplomats journey to Dickinson. The conference schedule concludes, with what figures to be a pivotal matchup, in late October as F&M travels to Johns Hopkins on Oct. 28.
Conference playoffs are set for Nov. 1, 4, and 5. The following weekend will see the first three rounds of NCAAs contested from Nov. 11-13.
A continued feature to this year's schedule is the "Add to Calendar" button, which allows fans to sync new events and updates directly in their Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, ICal and additional calendars.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2017 volleyball schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
Follow Along (Social Media)
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.
Centennial Conference Digital Network
The Centennial Conference announced a partnership with Stretch Internet to become the conference's digital network provider and establish a central location for all CC athletic events. Broadcasts that are present in the Stretch portal are exclusively produced by the 11-member institutions that are the host of each CC contest.
In addition to its Roku channel, the Conference will have three new over-the-top (OTT) applications to make broadcasts available – Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV. All home broadcasts that are produced by all 11 members will be available on CentennialConference.TV and the OTT apps.
This new service comes at no cost to the viewers of Centennial play.
A Year to Celebrate
This season marks the 45th anniversary of the Franklin & Marshall women's volleyball program. The celebration will culminate Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 21, with a new class being inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, or "Court of Honor." This year's celebration will honor the 1993 team, which was the first team to win a conference championship, as well as four individuals from the program's history that embody this year's theme of trailblazers.
Friday, Sept. 1, 2017
F&M vs. Elizabethtown | Lancaster | 7:00 PM
Series Record: F&M Leads 29-15
Streak: F&M +6
Last F&M Victory: 3-0, Sept. 3, 2016
Last Etown Victory: 3-2, Sept. 2, 2009
Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
F&M vs. Lancaster Bible | Lancaster | 11:00 AM
Series Record: F&M Leads 10-0
Streak: F&M +10
Last F&M Victory: 3-0, Sept. 2, 2016
Last LBC Victory: N/A
Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
F&M vs. Messiah | Lancaster | 1:30 PM
Series Record: Tied 15-15
Streak: F&M +2
Last F&M Victory: 3-2, Sept. 21, 2002
Last Messiah Victory: 3-2, Oct. 12, 1996