LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team is set to kick off the 2013 season with a doubleheader at home on Friday. The defending Centennial Conference (CC) Regular Season Champions open against Lycoming at 5:00 p.m. before facing off with Penn State-Berks at 7:00 p.m.
To watch the season preview video for the 2013 F&M volleyball team, click here.
The 2013 Diplomats
After finishing with the best record in the CC following the conclusion of the 2012 regular season, the Diplomats advanced into the championship game against Johns Hopkins, falling just short of their second title in three years.
With the loss of All-CC First Team members Sydney Seydel and Candice Tussing, 2012 CC Coach of the Year Mary Kate Boland will need to replace key components of an offense that finished first in the conference in kills per game with 11.54. Boland enters her 11th season with 189 career victories, good for second on the all-time list.
Defensively, the Diplomats displayed one of the most dominant units in school history. F&M recorded a total of 219 blocks during the year, the third most all-time and the highest total since 2007. The team's 1.81 per game average was the best in the conference in 2012. To take a look at last seasons statistics for the Diplomats, click here.
F&M returns 11 letter winners and three starters from last year's team that amassed an 18-14 record including a 9-1 mark in CC play. Eight freshmen join the fold; a group that consists of three outside hitters, two setters, a middle hitter, a defensive specialist and a libero.
Returning Starters (3)
S/RS – Caroline Hubbard
MH – Julie Harvey
Libero – Alyssa Sanchez
Players to Watch
Three starters return to form the nucleus of the 2013 team. Hubbard earned a place on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region Honorable Mention Team and a spot on the All-CC Second Team after averaging 8.06 assists per set.
Harvey enters the season off her second-consecutive All-CC nod, having been named to the honorable mention squad a year ago. The CC Player of the Year in 2011 led the Diplomats in kills per set with a 2.63 average, while finishing second in hitting percentage at 3.20. Sanchez also received All-CC Honorable mention recognition after leading F&M with 3.47 digs per game.
The Road Ahead
After opening the season with Friday's double header at home, the Diplomats head across town on Saturday to complete a stretch of four matches in two days with games against Lancaster Bible at 10:00 a.m. followed by Elizabethtown at 12:00 p.m.
The CC figures to continue the trend of producing multiple teams capable of winning on any given night. Headlining that group will be two-time defending CC Champion Johns Hopkins, who F&M squares off against on their home court, October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Jays narrowly missed out on an AVCA Preseason Top 25 ranking, receiving 44 votes from coaches around the country.
The Diplomats open CC competition with a pair of road contests against Ursinus (Sept. 21) and Bryn Mawr (Sept. 28) before heading back to Lancaster to kick off their conference slate against Hopkins. F&M faces one team ranked in the AVCA Preseason Top 25, when they close out the regular season against Salisbury (No. 22) in a Tri-match at York on Nov. 2.
All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats Youtube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Lycoming at Franklin & Marshall | Lancaster, Pa. | 5:00 p.m.
Series Record: F&M leads 5-3
Streak: F&M +5
Last F&M Victory: 3-0 (30-21, 30-28, 30-27), Sept., 22, 2007 – Elizabethtown, Pa.
Last LC Victory: 1998
Friday, August 30, 2013
Lancaster Bible at Franklin & Marshall | Lancaster, Pa. | 7:00 p.m.
Series Record: F&M leads 6-0
Streak: F&M +6
Last F&M Victory: 3-2 (25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 19-17), Aug. 31, 2007 – Lancaster, Pa.