LANCASTER, Pa. – Julie Harvey led the Franklin & Marshall volleyball team to two victories on Saturday afternoon at the Mayser Center. The Diplomats downed Centennial Conference (CC) opponent Ursinus 3-1 (23-25, 25-10, 25-19, 25-13) before taking down Muskingum 3-1 (25-16, 25-12, 23-25, 25-17).
With the sweep, F&M improved to 14-8, 1-2 CC. The Bears moved to 10-5, 1-1 CC, while the Fighting Muskies dropped to 14-8.
In F&M's opening set against Ursinus, it was tied 11-11 midway through, however the Bears put together a 7-3 spurt to take an 18-14 advantage. The Diplomats scored two consecutive points to come to within two points at 18-16, but Ursinus denied F&M of a comeback and won the first 25-23 to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Parys Zambas recorded two service aces in the first 12 points of the set to allow F&M to open up an 8-4 lead. The Diplomats built on that lead, increasing it to 19-6 off a Julie Harvey service as F&M cruised in the set, winning 25-10 to tie the match at 1-1.
Tied at 9-9 in the third set, the Diplomats' Ellie Ezekiel smacked a kill to give F&M a slight 10-9 advantage. The Diplomats continued to hold the lead at 18-14 thanks to a Rachel Umberger kill. F&M never let the lead go in the set and won 25-19 to take a 2 sets to 1 lead.
The Diplomats started out on fire in the fourth, jumping out to a 14-6 advantage. F&M cruised the rest of the way, as the Diplomats notched 16 total kills in the fourth en route to the 25-13 set win and 3-1 victory in the match.
Harvey paced the offense, finishing with 12 kills, two solo blocks and an impressive .524 hitting percentage, while Kelsey Michenko added 11 kills and two blocks for F&M. Caroline Hubbard tallied 42 helpers, while Alyssa Sanchez notched 18 digs and Zambas recorded 14.
In the nightcap versus Muskingum, the Diplomats led early in the first 9-7. From there, F&M put together a 10-2 run, capped off by a Michenko kill, to take a commanding 19-9 lead. The Fighting Muskies came to within seven points at 23-16, but back-to-back kills from Harvey and Jaclyn Laforgia clinched the first set for the Diplomats at 25-16 for a 1-0 match lead.
F&M dominated the second set, as the Diplomats lead 12-5 in the beginning. F&M continued to collect points quickly, as the lead was extended to 23-8. An Ezekiel kill ended the set at 25-12 and gave the Diplomats a 2-0 lead in the match.
Muskingum battled in the third set, as the Fighting Muskies led 15-11. F&M tied it at 18-18 off an Ezekiel kill, and the teams traded points back and forth until Muskingum's Alexa Abrams notched a kill to make it 23-22. The Diplomats failed to mount a comeback as the Fighting Muskies took the third 25-23.
In the fourth, F&M was strong early, jumping out to a 13-6 advantage. Muskingum came to within five points at 22-17, but two consecutive kills from Rachel Umberger clinched the set (25-17) and the match (3-1) for the Diplomats.
Umberger led the offense with 13 kills, while Harvey notched 10 and Michenko tallied nine. Hubbard added 43 assists and 14 digs for a double-double, while Sanchez supplied 14 digs as well.
F&M returns to action on Wednesday when the Diplomats travel to Haverford for a 7:00 p.m. match.