LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's volleyball team delivered the 3-2 (25-20, 18-25, 26-24, 24-26, 15-13) win over Johns Hopkins on Saturday afternoon, clinching home-field advantage in the upcoming Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament for the first time since 2013.
Today's victory ensured that next weekend's CC Semifinals and Championship games will take place at the Mayser Center. The Diplomats, who kept a perfect 10-0 CC mark with a 23-6 overall record, will take on the winner of Wednesday's No. 4-5 matchup. Hopkins (19-7, 8-2 CC) will head into the tournament as the No. 2 seed.
Grace Polisano opened the match with a kill to ignite the Diplomats in the first set. With Allison Franke behind the service line, F&M took a 7-2 lead. After Hopkins battled back, a service ace from Amy Mullen tied the contest at 13-13 while a Polisano kill brought the score to 17-14 in F&M's favor. The Diplomats kept the pace with Chloe Kong finishing the set with an ace to give F&M the 25-20 edge.
The Blue Jays responded in the second frame, quickly taking a 6-2 lead. A kill from Kapustin brought F&M within five, but Hopkins continued the momentum, taking the second set by a 25-18 tally.
F&M took control in the third set, taking a 6-1 lead with Mullen behind the service line. A Franke kill sparked a 6-1 run to increase the Diplomats' advantage to 19-13. Errors proved fatal for the Blue Jays late in the set as a Grace Maggiore service ace gave F&M the 24-21 edge while Delaney Hahn tallied the set-winning ace at 26-24.
Hopkins looked to take back the momentum in the fourth set, taking a 10-4 lead. Sparked by a service error from the Blue Jays, F&M went on an 8-0 run that included two aces from Franke to take the lead at 17-16. A Nicole Carey kill started F&M on a short run to even the score at 24-24, but the Blue Jays took the final two points to force a fifth set.
Polisano once again opened the set with a kill to ignite F&M in the final frame. A kill from Franke brought F&M to match point at 14-12 while a service error ended the match in the Diplomats' favor.
Franke led the offense with 14 kills and three service aces, followed Polisano with 12 kills. Maggiore notched a double-double of 35 assists and 11 digs while Hahn and Carly Ostrowski cemented the defense with 17 and 14 digs, respectively.