Diplomats Set to Secure CC Playoff Berth

Diplomats Set to Secure CC Playoff Berth
Game 25
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015
F&M at Gettysburg | Gettysburg, Pa. | 7:00 PM
Series Record: GC leads 37-17
Streak: F&M +4
Last F&M Victory: 3-1, Oct. 29, 2014
Last GC Victory: 3-2, Nov. 4, 2011
Live Stats | Video
Game 26
Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015
F&M at Dickinson | Carlisle, Pa. | 1:00 PM
Series Record: F&M leads 45-7-1
Streak: F&M +9
Last F&M Victory: 3-1, Nov. 1, 2014
Last DC Victory: 3-2, Oct. 17, 2007
Live Stats | Video

Entering the final week of the regular season, Franklin & Marshall sits in fifth place in Centennial Conference (CC) standings. The Diplomats need just one victory from two conference matches to solidify a spot in the CC playoffs.

Series History: F&M continues CC play this Wednesday, traveling to Gettysburg for a 7:00 p.m. match. The Bullets hold a 37-17 all-time lead in the series, but the Diplomats have won the last four meetings.

The regular season schedule ends on Saturday when F&M travels to Dickinson for a 1:00 p.m. contest. The Diplomats carry a 45-7-1 all-time lead into the match, including victories in the last nine meetings.

Most Recent Meetings: The Bullets and Diplomats met on Oct. 29 of last year, a 3-1 victory for F&M. Ellie Ezekiel notched 16 kills and Alyssa Sanchez managed 22 digs as the Diplomats held Gettysburg to a .026 hitting percentage in the match.

To read a recap of the match, click here.

Dickinson came to Lancaster last year on Nov. 1 as part of a trimatch featuring Cabrini and F&M. Twelve kills from Julie Harvey powered the Diplomats past the Red Devils in four sets.

To read a recap of the match, click here.

Last Week: F&M hosted a trimatch on Saturday, welcoming Washington College for an important CC matchup at 12:00 p.m., before taking on Washington & Lee at 4:00 p.m.

In the opener, the Diplomats nabbed a pair of 25-21 victories in the first two sets to take an early lead. After dropping the third, F&M pulled away from the Shorewomen in the fourth to win 25-19. Ezekiel paced the offense with 16 kills, while Kelsey Michenko (five blocks) and Sanchez (18 digs) each turned in quality defensive performances.

In the second match, the Diplomats took advantage of strong serving from Mary Leneweaver to take the first 25-18. The Generals responded, taking the next three frames to win the match 3-1. Katie Foreman celebrated senior day with a team-high 13 kills in the match as fellow senior Sanchez recorded 16 digs.

To read a recap of the matches, click here.

CC Playoff Picture: At 5-3 in the conference, F&M currently sits in fifth place in the CC standings. Swarthmore (7-1), Johns Hopkins (5-1), McDaniel (6-2), and Haverford (6-2) all sit in front of the Diplomats, while Muhlenberg (5-4), Washington (4-4) and Gettysburg (3-5) closely follow.

The Diplomats need one win from two in order to secure a playoff berth. Head-to-head advantages over Muhlenberg and Washington give F&M some room for error, but a loss to Gettysburg brings the Bullets into contention. Two wins and helpful results within the conference could still see F&M finish as high as second.

To see full conference standings, click here.

In the Rankings: After tallying 88 assists over eight sets, Allison Edelstein upped her assists per set average to 9.67.  She continues to lead the conference, followed by Washington's Taylor Horan at 8.93.

Sanchez earned 34 digs over the weekend, giving her 401 total digs on the year, good for third in the CC. Her 4.61 digs per set average is fifth in the conference.

Ezekiel now has 297 kills on the year, placing her sixth in conference rankings. Her 3.23 kills per set average is also in the top 10.

Milestone Watch: Sanchez has increased her career digs total to 1,594, just eight shy of second place (Melynne Stufft, 1,602) in the F&M record books. The top spot is held by Meghan Godorov '05 with 2,181.

Ezekiel added 28 kills over the weekend, bringing her career total to 896. She now ranks ninth in career kills at F&M, needing 94 to enter a tie with Kristen Kowalski (990) for eighth and 95 to tie Tricia Vos (991) for seventh.

Boland Chases 250: Head coach Mary Kate Boland now has 247 career wins. She needs just three more to reach the 250-win plateau and five more to break the F&M record for wins by a coach, held by Steve Coulson (251).