LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team locked up a home Centennial Conference Tournament match with a sweep of Muhlenberg on Wednesday evening (25-17, 25-21, 25-21). The Diplomats (14-9, 6-3 CC) will host that first round matchup next week, but there is still work to be done in the regular season as the team will look to close on a strong note this Saturday for Senior Day.
On Wednesday, the Diplomats held the Mules to a negative hitting percentage for the match with some strong defense. F&M racked up 57 digs, led by Carly Bozzo's 16 for the night. Annmarie Earley posted a double-double as she also recorded 10 digs to go along with a match-high 34 assists from the setter's position. Earley helped four different F&M players record at least seven kills. Allison Franke led those efforts with 11 kills in addition to a pair of service aces for 13 points. Sydney Levins added eight kills, while Nicole Carey and Kyra Caffrey had seven each. Carey added three block assists to her nigh while Caffrey registered one solo block and two more block assists.
The first game was a tough battle as the teams were tied on eight occasions. The last such instance came at 16-all. A kill from Makenna Penuel knotted the score and started a run of eight straight F&M points with Mikayla Smith at the service line. The Diplomats closed that set by winning 10 of the last 11 points overall. After a big run to end the first game, that momentum did not stop in the second as F&M raced out to a 14-4 lead. Muhlenberg made a run of its own to bring the score to 15-12, but the Mules could come no closer in the 25-21 middle set.
Franklin & Marshall also had a quick start to the third game, claiming an 8-2 lead early. Muhlenberg did not go away quietly as it took the lead at 9-8. The momentum continued to swing back as the Diplomats scored six consecutive and were able to hold that lead for the rest of the clinching game. Muhlenberg got to match to 22-19 in F&M's favor. The Diplomats were able to seal the victory with kills from Levins and Franke to deny any further thoughts of a Mules' comeback.
In the aforementioned Senior Day match, volleyball will welcome McDaniel to the Mayser Center this Saturday for a 1 p.m. first serve. In addition to being able to play in front of their home crowd for the final regular season match, the Diplomats will be able to celebrate the careers of senior captains Carly Bozzo, Nicole Carey, and Allison Franke, along with student assistants Tahmir Brown and Samir Williams.