Series History: The Diplomats open competition at the Emory National Invitational in Atlanta by taking on No. 2 Calvin at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, marking the first meeting between the two schools.
The opposition only gets tougher later that day when F&M takes on No. 1 Emory at 4:00 p.m. It will be the third meeting between the schools, and the first since 2008. The Diplomats will be looking to claim their first win against the Eagles.
Play resumes in Georgia on Saturday when F&M takes on Wheaton (Ill.) at 10:00 a.m. These programs are set to meet for just the second time, with F&M claiming the only previous matchup in 2004.
Later that day, the Emory National Invitational concludes when the Diplomats face No. 10 Claremont at 2:00 p.m. F&M will look to even the all-time series at 2-2 in the matchup's first installment since 2004.
Last Week: F&M opened the week by hosting Susquehanna on Tuesday night. A dramatic comeback in the fourth forced a deciding fifth set, which the Crusaders claimed to win the tight match, 3-2 (23-25, 28-26, 25-19, 23-25, 15-8). Cassie Garison and Barbara Kapustin led the Diplomats with 13 kills each.
The week continued on Friday night when F&M hosted Randolph-Macon in the opening match of the F&M Scramble. Despite Ellie Ezekiel's 15 kills, the Diplomats again found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision, losing to Randolph-Macon in five sets (19-25, 25-19, 25-14, 18-25, 19-14).
Saturday brought two more opportunities for the Diplomats, hosting Lebanon Valley before capping the tournament by facing Penn St.-Altoona. The Diplomats dropped the first match, a 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-19) loss to LVC.
F&M was quick to redeem itself, earning a 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-10) trouncing of the Nittany Lions in the second match. The Diplomats hit .308 and .394 in the second and third frames of the victory without allowing Penn St.-Altoona to hit better than .143 in any set.
In the Rankings: Allison Edelstein remains near the top of Centennial Conference (CC) rankings for assists per set. At 9.00, she trails only Washington College's Taylor Horan (9.44).
At .376, Kelsey Michenko is third in the CC in hitting percentage. Only Meg O'Day of Haverford (.477) and Lexi Corral of McDaniel (.482) have posted better numbers.
Alyssa Sanchez ranks fifth in digs per set, with 4.19.
Milestone Watch: With the victory over Penn St.-Altoona, head coach Mary Kate Boland now has 239 career wins over her 12+ seasons at the helm for the Diplomats. This puts her 11 wins shy of the 250-win plateau and just 12 wins short of the all-time career wins record for F&M coaches, currently held by Steve Coulson with 251.