LANCASTER, Pa. – Senior Allison Franke reached 1,000 career points in her home finale as she recorded 10 kills and one service ace, but it was Gettysburg that had the final say in its 3-0 win during the first round of the Centennial Conference Tournament. The Bullets (15-8) avenged their five-set defeat to the Diplomats (15-10) from the regular season behind a big night on the block and at the service line. Gettysburg will now advance to the Centennial Conference semifinals where they will face top-seeded Johns Hopkins on Saturday.
Franke hit .308 in her final match for the Diplomats with 10 kills and just two errors in 26 attempts. Sydney Levins added nine kills while senior Nicole Carey chipped in seven for the hosting Diplomats. Levins finished with a team-best .389 hitting percentage as her nine kills came in just 18 swings. Annmarie Earley and senior Carly Bozzo led the way with 22 assists and 18 digs, respectively. The Bullets countered that with six blocks and eight service aces on top of their 33 kills.
During the opening game, it was Franklin & Marshall that ran off six straight points to take control at the start. The Bullets answered with five consecutive points of their own, but momentum seemed to be heading back to F&M as the hosts were leading 16-10. As the pendulum of momentum continued to swing, Gettysburg tied the match at 18-all and the score was knotted all the way up to 22-all before the Bullets used three attack errors to claim the 1-0 advantage.
The second game was never in doubt as the Bullets raced out to a 7-2 lead and never looked back during an eventual 25-10 win. Gettysburg carried that momentum into final set as it jumped out to a 5-0 lead. The Diplomats tied the game at eight-all, but could never claim a lead. With the match on the line at 24-16, a kill from Levins saved one match point before a pair of service aces from Rei Baker helped save three more during her service turn. On their fifth match point, the Bullets came up with a kill to close out the 25-20 set.
Tonight's result capped the decorated careers of Carly Bozzo, Nicole Carey, and Allison Franke. That trio, along with senior student assistants Tahmir Brown and Samir Williams, helped the Diplomats to the Centennial Conference Tournament during each of their three competitive seasons. That success included an NCAA Tournament at-large bid in 2018 and a Centennial Conference Championship appearance in 2019 before this year's run to the postseason.