COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall dominated its competition with back-to-back 3-0 sweeps of Centennial Conference (CC) opponent Ursinus and non-conference foe Arcadia on Saturday afternoon in a volleyball tri match hosted by the Bears. With the pair of shutouts, the Diplomats improved to 9-6, 2-0 CC.
Against Ursinus (5-9, 0-2 CC), the contest had the appearance of a close matchup as F&M led by a narrow 11-10 score midway through the first. However, the Diplomats used a 14-5 run that featured eight kills, including one from Rachel Umberger on set point, to claim the 25-15 win.
The Bears led 9-7 in the second, until nine consecutive points from F&M gave the Diplomats a 16-9 advantage. F&M never allowed Ursinus to pull any closer and went ahead 2-0 with a 25-14 win in the set.
Ahead by a narrow 12-11 lead in the third, the Diplomats won nine out of the next 12 points to stretch the advantage to 21-14. Sarah Landry and Mikayla Grossman closed out the match with kills on the final two points as F&M cruised to the sweep.
The Diplomats hit at a .218 clip for the contest, including a scorching .375 in the second, while holding Ursinus to a -0.40 percentage throughout the afternoon. Coming off a career-high 28 kills against Muhlenberg on Wednesday, Ellie Ezekiel once again led the charge with 13 kills and just three errors in 34 total attacks. Allison Edelstein racked up 16 assists, while Lydia Budd followed with eight.
Later in the day against Arcadia (3-8), F&M opened with a 6-1 advantage before rolling to a 21-9 lead. The Diplomats ended the set by winning four of the final five points and concluded the 25-10 victory with back-to-back Mary Leneweaver service aces.
The second was tightly contested with F&M trailing by a 17-12 margin late in the frame, until an 8-1 run put the Diplomats in front by two. F&M held the lead and pulled away late for the 25-20 victory.
Arcadia once again jumped out to an early advantage in the third at 8-3 and later in the set, looked in control ahead by a 14-9 score. The Diplomats battled back again, using an 11-1 run to gain the 20-15 edge and never looked back en route to the 25-20 win.
F&M hit at a season-high .356 rate with 39 kills and a mere eight errors on 87 total attacks. Ezekiel was strong again with 13 kills, followed by seven from Cassie Garison. Budd tallied 18 assists, while Edelstein collected 11 and has now reached double-digit helpers in all of F&M's contests this season. Murphy recorded 15 digs, while Parys Zambas notched three of the team's eight aces.
Action continues for the Diplomats on Wednesday when F&M welcomes Swarthmore to the Mayser Center for a 7:00 p.m. match.