LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team begins its 2014 campaign on the road at the Crosstown Crossover hosted by Elizabethtown this weekend with a match at Lancaster Bible on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and contests against Elizabethtown (2:00 p.m.) and Penn St. – Berks (4:00 p.m.) on Saturday afternoon. After the Diplomats put together an impressive season last year, F&M again expects to be one of the conference's top teams in 2014.
To watch the season preview video, click here.
All of F&M's starters from last season return to the court, along with eight other Diplomat returners, as F&M looks to revisit dominance after a 24-6, 10-0 CC mark a season ago. Last year's team was full of talent and now that the squad has experienced another winning season, the team's goal is to win a CC Championship.
The four freshmen head coach Mary Kate Boland brought in this year replace the four seniors she lost a season ago and Boland believes the strong work ethic from the freshmen has raised the level of competition within the team.
MH – Julie Harvey – Sr.
S/RS – Caroline Hubbard – Sr.
Libero – Alyssa Sanchez – Jr.
OH – Ellie Ezekiel – So.
Leading the group of returners is Harvey, a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American and 2013 CC Player of the Year. Last season, Harvey was second in the conference in hitting percentage (.358) and first in total blocks (104). Her 1.07 blocks per set average also ranked first, while her 3.31 kills per set was good for seventh.
Hubbard, who joined Harvey on the 2013 CC First Team, led the conference in assists per set at 1.02 and placed third in service aces per set at 0.48. She recorded 25 or more assists in 23 of the 29 matches she appeared in, including a season-high 50.
Another First Team All-CC member, Sanchez led the team in digs per set last year at 3.89 and placed second in aces per set at 0.45. Ezekiel received All-CC Honorable Mention a season ago after leading F&M in double-doubles with nine, ranking second in kills per set (2.69) and digs per set (2.84).
To view last season's statistics, click here.
The Road Ahead
The Diplomats welcome York (Pa.) to the Mayser Center on Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 7:00 p.m. for F&M's first home match of the season before the Diplomats kick off CC play on Wednesday, Sept. 17 on the road at Muhlenberg. The Diplomats face off against a pair of top-25 teams in the nation on Sept. 20, traveling to Huntingdon for a double dip with No. 14 Juniata and No. 25 Christopher Newport.
CC Preseason Poll
The Diplomats picked up three first-place votes in the CC Preseason Poll, as voted on by the conference's coaches, to earn the second spot. Defending champions Johns Hopkins gained seven first-place votes to claim first.
CC Winning Streak
The last time F&M lost a regular season conference matchup was Oct. 6, 2012 against Haverford. Since then, the Diplomats have rattled off 15 straight regular season conference victories, including a perfect 10-0 mark last season.
Opening MatchupGame 1 Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 F&M at Lancaster Bible | Lancaster, Pa. | 7:00 PM Series Record: F&M Leads 7-0 Streak: F&M +7 Last F&M Victory: 3-0, Aug. 31, 2013 Last LBC Victory: N/A
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