LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's volleyball team begins their 2019 campaign next Friday, Aug. 30th, at home against Mary Washington in the F&M Scramble.
To watch the season preview video, featuring head coach Mary Kate Salko, click here
The Diplomats held a 23-8 overall record a year ago, going a perfect 10-0 in Centennial Conference regular season action. The opening weekend three-game set gives them an early opportunity to defend home court, something they were adept at in 2018 as they went 11-2 on their home floor.
F&M returns several key members to the team this season, including two All-Americans and First Team All-CC players along with one Honorable Mention honoree. The Diplomats swept the individual CC awards as returners Grace Maggiore, Allison Franke, and head coach Mary Kate Salko took home the Player, Rookie, and Coach of the Year Awards, respectively. Franke and Salko took home the same awards at the regional level.
The Diplomats do have to replace the production of Barbara Kapustin, who graduated following All-CC Second Team honors last season. Two first-year players have been brought into the program to help accomplish that: Kyra Caffrey and Annmarie Earley.
Players to Watch
L – Carlita Bozzo – So.
OH - Nicole Carey - So.
MH – Allison Franke – So.
OH – Delaney Hahn – Jr.
L – Chloe Kong – So.
S – Grace Maggiore – Jr.
RS – Casey Morrow – So.
RS – Amy Mullen – Jr.
OH – Carly Ostrowski – Jr.
OH – Grace Polisano – Jr.
Allison Franke '22, an All-American Honorable Mention, burst onto the scene last year. She led the team in both total kills (296) and kills per set (2.77), good for sixth and eighth in the CC, respectively.
Grace Maggiore '21, an All-American Honorable Mention, was 10th in the nation in service aces (74) and was 30th in aces per set (0.67) Her 9.04 assists per set ranked fourth in the CC.
Grace Polisano '20 returns for her senior campaign following her second consecutive All-CC nod. She was third and fourth on the team, respectively, in kills (2.06) and digs (1.94) per set.
To watch the 2019 video roster, click here.
The Road Ahead
F&M kicks off with home matches against Mary Washington, SUNY Geneseo, and Arcadia. Following the first weekend of action, the Diplomats begin a stretch of seven non-conference matchups on the road beginning Sept. 4th.
Conference play begins on Sept. 21st when the Diplomats host Muhlenberg, and the CC First Round is slated to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6th with the Championship date set for Nov. 10th.
The NCAA Tournament begins on Nov. 14th. The Second and Third Rounds take place Nov. 15-16. Cedar Rapids, Iowa hosts the NCAA Quarterfinals, Final Four, and Championship on Nov. 21-23.
Record Book Watch
Grace Polisano enters the season 21st in program history with 828 career points, just 21 points shy of Kerry Rom '12 (849) for the no. 20 spot. Four more kills would allow her to pass Rom and Rosemary Hartmann '02 (723) in total kills as she currently has 720. She is also fifth in program history with 895 service attempts, and only 25 away from passing Parys Zambas '17 for fourth.
Grace Maggiore has recorded 116 career services aces, which is 21st in program history. Nine more aces would catapult her into the No. 16 spot in program history, passing Nicole Kushman '07.
In the Polls
The Diplomats received four top-25 votes in the AVCA coaches poll, placing them just outside the top 25 in the nation. F&M is one of two Centennial Conference schools to receive votes in the poll (Johns Hopkins). Complete Poll.
CC Win Streak
F&M has not lost a Centennial Conference regular season competition since October of 2017, a streak of six games. They will look to extend their home winning streak this season.
Closing in on 850
The F&M volleyball program currently has 831 wins on their ledger, 19 wins shy of 850 wins. The Diplomats have averaged 19.5 wins per season over the last six seasons, and 19.1 wins per season since 2003 (16 years).