LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team got back into the win column in a big way Saturday afternoon as the Diplomats (6-4) swept a tri-meet against Lancaster Bible (25-12, 22-25, 25-18, 25-17) and Elizabethtown (25-19, 25-21, 25-18).
Starting the day against the host Chargers, F&M used an 8-0 rally to turn a 14-11 opening game into a runaway victory. Meredith Mangum toed the service line during that extended run and recorded two service aces. However, it was an overall period of strong play from the entire lineup that secured the first set as the Diplomats won 11 of the final 12 point overall.
After dropping a hard-fought second set, the Diplomats were locked in a 13-12 battle during the third game with the momentum hanging in the balance. Once again, it was Mangum's service that gave F&M some breathing room as she and Carly Bozzo were able to help the Diplomats win 11 of the next 14 points during their service rotations to put F&M on the brink of victory. Tied at three-all in the fourth, Allison Franke's service game helped the Diplomats go up 7-3 as they never looked back in their victory.
In addition to a strong performance at the service line where she recorded three total aces, Franke posted a very impressive .345 hitting percentage with 10 kills and no errors in 29 attempts. Nicole Carey and Sydney Levins led the team with 11 kills against LBC. Hannah McCarthy put the hitters in strong position with 30 assists. A total of 15 service aces proved crucial in the victory as Franke and Mangum each posted three while four others had multiple aces.
Defensively, the Diplomats were a force at the net with 10 blocks, including four solo efforts. Lauren Arnold registered the four solo efforts in addition to two assisted efforts. Jada West added another four block assists during the victory. Four Diplomats posted double figure dig totals, led by 22 from Bozzo.
F&M just continued to pick up momentum throughout the afternoon as it hit .242 during the sweep of Elizabethtown. Levins registered an incredible .542 hitting percentage in the match with 14 kills against just one error in 24 attempts. Franke was also a force with 11 kills and two errors in 29 attempts (.310). McCarthy dished out 34 more helpers.
Arnold was once again a huge presence at the net with one solo block and five assisted efforts. That was part of eight blocks as a team. Mangum led the Diplomats with 12 digs while McCarthy added 11 more in her double-double outing.
With momentum back on its side, the volleyball team will return home this Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match against Immaculata. Although they will have non-conference matches remaining throughout the year, Wednesday's contest will be the final preparations before Centennial Conference play begins at Ursinus next Saturday.