LANCASTER, Pa. – Behind a career-high 19 kills from reigning Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week Sydney Levins, the Franklin & Marshall volleyball team ran its winning streak to seven consecutive matches with a four-game victory (25-21, 25-17, 15-25, 25-18) over Dickinson on Wednesday night inside the Mayser Center. The Diplomats (12-6, 5-0 CC) made it 20 consecutive sets won before the Red Devils (9-7, 3-3 CC) claimed the third. However, F&M bounced right back to claim the ensuing set to remain undefeated in Centennial Conference action.
Levins finished the match with 24 points as she also racked up three service aces and four block assists after hitting .317 on the night. Coco Shultz added 11 kills and three service aces of her own. Franklin & Marshall recorded nine blocks overall, with one solo effort and five block assists from Jada West leading the way at the net. F&M additionally registered 10 service aces to stabilize the offensive attack.
The opening game saw the lead change hands on eight occasions as it was tied 13 additional times throughout the first set. Neither team led by more than two during that opening game before an attack error from the Red Devils set the score at 21-18 in favor of the hosts. Kills from Gianna Mangiamele and Liah Perez helped to close out that opening set as the Diplomats scored four of the final five points. Perez and Hannah McCarthy were instrumental in setting up the attack all night long with 17 assists each.
After a back-and-forth opening game, the match was much more controlled with just six ties and three lead changes during the final three sets. All but one of those ties came during the second set. F&M was leading 11-10 in the second before taking control of the match by securing six of the next eight points behind a strong service from Shultz. Dickinson came no closer than 18-15 before the Diplomats went up 2-0 with their 25-17 game victory.
The Red Devils were not going to go down without a fight as they raced out to a 10-1 lead during the third set. A Mikayla Smith service ace brought the deficit down to 13-8, but the Diplomats could not get any closer as they dropped their first game since September 23. Franklin & Marshall did not stay down for long as it scored the first six points of the final game, featuring three straight kills from Shultz. Dickinson rallied to make it just a 12-10 deficit, but F&M maintained that lead and was up by as much as seven, 17-10, before closing out the victory.
In addition to a strong blocking presence, 61 F&M digs helped limited Dickinson to a .129 hitting percentage. Meredith Mangum led those efforts with 18 digs. Four other players had at least seven digs, including Shultz (9), McCarthy (8), Perez (8), and Smith (7).
With tonight's results, Franklin & Marshall remains as one of the final two undefeated teams in Centennial Conference action. The Diplomats continue conference play on the road this weekend when they travel to Swarthmore for a 1 p.m. opening serve.