LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team pulled out a hard-fought five-set win (25-11, 24-26, 21-25, 25-19, 15-10) against Gettysburg on Wednesday night to remain unbeaten in Centennial Conference play through its first two matches. The Diplomats (9-4, 2-0 CC) rallied from down 2-1 to overtake the Bullets (8-5, 1-1 CC) in a perennially-challenging matchup.
With the match going the full five sets, numerous Diplomats posted big numbers in the victory. Carly Bozzo was all over the floor with 41 digs in addition to six service aces. She was one of four Diplomats to finish with double figures in digs as Meredith Mangum (17), Allison Franke (12), and Bella Ganfield (10) joined her in that club. Franke's total came as part of a double-double as she also put down a team-best 13 kills. Sydney Levins and Nicole Carey finished with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Hannah McCarthy dished out 36 assists. As a team, F&M registered 18 service aces, with Franke and McCarthy each tallying four on the night in addition to Bozzo's team-leading six.
The first set was definitely not a foreshadowing of the tight match that was to come as the Diplomats scored the first seven points behind three aces from Bozzo. That lead never got under six during the entire first set as the Diplomats cruised to a 25-11 opening game victory.
F&M was seemingly in chase mode for most of the second set. The Diplomats took their only lead of the game late at 23-21, but the Bullets closed out the game with five of the final six points. The Diplomats followed that up by claiming a 17-15 edge in the third game before Gettysburg again rallied down the stretch.
Down two sets to one, the Diplomats had their backs against the wall midway through the fourth set as they trailed 13-9 before running over five straight points to take the lead in game four. They would later win four straight points on McCarthy's service en route to a 25-21 victory to set up the final game of the evening.
Franklin & Marshall was certainly ready to play right from the start of the fifth set as it won four of the first five points, three of which came on service aces. The Diplomats never trailed during that final set and stretched their lead all the way to 11-4 as Franke delivered two more aces during her time at the service line. Gettysburg still would not go away quietly as the Bullets rallied with six of the next eight points to make the score 13-10. Fittingly enough, after a kill from Levins, the match ended on McCarthy's service ace as the Diplomats took the final game by a 15-10 final.
After Wednesday night's thriller, fans will have two more chances to catch the Diplomats inside of the Mayser Center this week. F&M opens the month of October with back-to-back home dates against Cabrini and Misericordia this Friday and Saturday. Friday's match against the Cavaliers will be another 7 p.m. opening serve.