LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team continued its torrid start to the season, improving to 4-0 early on with a pair of wins on Saturday afternoon at the Crosstown Crossover hosted by Lancaster Bible. The Diplomats took down the Chargers (0-3) by a score of 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-17) before sweeping Elizabethtown (2-1) by scores of 32-20, 25-15, 25-17.
With the first set knotted at 6-6 against Lancaster Bible, F&M rattled off five-straight points to pull in front 11-6. The Diplomats held the lead for the remainder of the first, finishing the set with a 10-point win at 25-15.
In the second, F&M jumped out to an early advantage by winning eight of the first 10 points. The Diplomats followed up the six-point advantage with a 9-3 run to pull comfortably ahead at 18-6. The Chargers never challenged in the second en route to F&M's 13-point set victory.
Lancaster Bible threatened in the third, propelling to within three at 18-15 off of a 5-1 run, however two-straight kills from Ellie Ezekiel pushed the Diplomats' advantage to five. The margin proved too difficult for the Chargers to overcome as F&M rolled to the 3-0 win.
Kelsey Michenko reached double-digit kills for the Diplomats with 10, while Katie Foreman added seven. Caroline Hubbard continued her strong start to the season, assisting on 22 points in the contest.
As a team, F&M finished with a .242 hitting percentage compared to a -.150 mark from Lancaster Bible. The Diplomats notched 38 kills and held the Chargers to only 11. F&M was dominant from behind the line, recording nine service aces, three apiece from Hubbard and Alyssa Sanchez.
Against Elizabethtown, the Diplomats ran into trouble in the opening set but outlasted the Blue Jays for a grueling 32-30 victory. F&M won the second by a more comfortable margin, taking the set 25-15 to grab a commanding 2-0 lead.
In the third, the Diplomats capped off the sweep by earning an eight-point victory at 25-17 to remain unbeaten on the season.
Ezekiel paced the offense with 11 kills and a .409 hitting percentage, while Harvey and Emily Gerard both added seven for F&M. Hubbard recorded 35 assists on the match and also chipped in on defense with seven digs.
The Diplomats collected 42 kills as a team, compared to 16 from Elizabethtown, while also outhitting the Blue Jays .260 to .065.
F&M returns to non-conference action on Friday when it competes at the Lebanon Valley Tournament. The Diplomats open play against Central Penn at 4:00 p.m., followed by a showdown with York at 6:00 p.m.