BALTIMORE, Md. – Ellie Ezekiel recorded a career-high 22 kills as Franklin & Marshall hung on to beat Johns Hopkins 3-2 (25-23, 25-22, 18-25, 23-25, 15-9) in the first round of the Centennial Conference (CC) tournament.
The Diplomats improved to 19-11 on the season, and take on the host school and No. 1 seed Haverford in the CC Semifinal on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The Blue Jays' season ended with a 17-11 mark.
The victory is F&M's first over Hopkins in the CC tournament since a 3-2 win in the semifinals in 2010.
In the opening set, F&M used 15 kills and only two errors to take the set 25-23 and a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The second set was similar to the first with the Diplomats slipping past Hopkins 25-22 for the 2-0 lead in the contest.
The Blue Jays battled back and won the third set at 25-18 to cut F&M's lead to 2-1. Hopkins edged the Diplomats in the fourth set as well, taking it 25-22 to force a fifth and final set.
In the fifth, F&M dominated with eight kills and a .350 team hitting percentage, compared to just two kills and a .278 hitting percentage from the Blue Jays. The Diplomats won the set 15-9 for the 3-2 victory in the match.
Ezekiel's 22 kills were the second-most in a five-set match in F&M history. Julie Simpson recorded 34 kills against Mt. Union on Sept. 13, 1997. The sophomore outside hitter added 10 digs for the double-double.