LANCASTER, Pa. – Fourth-seeded Franklin & Marshall fell to fifth-seed McDaniel after a hard-fought 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 25-15, 16-25, 9-15) match on Wednesday night.
The Diplomats finished the season with a 16-12 record after the defeat, while the Green Terror improved their record to 19-7 and moved into Saturday's semifinal against No. 1 Johns Hopkins.
McDaniel came out strong to start the match, taking a 16-10 lead. Sparked by errors for the visiting Terror, F&M went on a 5-0 run that culminated in a Christine Yoo kill to come within one. The Diplomats took the lead at 21-20 from a Casey Morrow kill, but McDaniel was able to recover and take the first set.
The Diplomats looked to retaliate to start the second frame. A 5-0 run that included a service ace from Grace Polisano and ended with a kill from Barbara Kapustin to give F&M the 8-3 lead. Morrow recorded four kills on a 5-1 run that extended the Diplomats' lead to 17-9. F&M kept the pace and Morrow finished the set with a kill to give F&M the set 25-15.
Back-to-back service aces from Yoo early in the third set helped the Diplomats to an 8-2 lead. Grace Maggiore tallied three-straight aces on a 5-0 run that expanded F&M's lead 17-8. Errors kept McDaniel at bay and a Kapustin kill finished the set 25-15 in F&M's favor.
The Green Terror came out fighting in the fourth with a block from Morrow and Yoo tying the set at 9-9. McDaniel started on a 6-0 run that was stopped by a Caroline Elgut kill. McDaniel kept pushing and finished the set with a 25-16 win and forced a fifth set.
McDaniel kept the pace in the fifth, quickly taking a 9-2 lead. A kill from Cassie Garison looked to change the momentum in F&M's favor while back-to-back kills from Yoo and Kapustin brought the Diplomats within four. The Green Terror remained steadfast and took the set at 15-9 and the match.
Setter Maggiore recorded a double-double of 41 assists, 11 digs, and four service aces. Morrow led the offense with 11 kills and one service ace. Yoo and Garison both tallied nine kills while Yoo recorded two aces. Shae Murphy cemented the defense with 17 digs while Kapustin recorded 16 digs and eight kills.
The loss ends a 2017-18 campaign that saw the Diplomats post a 16-2 record and a conference-leading tenth-straight appearance in the CC Tournament.