LANCASTER, Pa. – An efficient team hitting effort and three players with double-digit kills powered Franklin & Marshall to a 3-0 tour de force over McDaniel on Thursday night in a crucial Centennial Conference (CC) volleyball showdown. The Diplomats improved to 14-6, 4-2 CC with the victory while the Green Terror fell to 11-11, 3-3.
F&M set the tone early on, charging to an 8-0 advantage thanks to a pair of kills from Christine Yoo and an ace from Mary Leneweaver. Two kills from Cassie Garison and Grace Polisano coupled with one ace on the serve of Sarah Landry to extend that lead to 17-5. Polisano put the exclamation point on the set, serving up five aces to close the set on another 8-0 run for the emphatic 25-6 victory.
Garison led the way with four kills in the set as the Diplomats hit a scorching .481 and tallied eight aces as a team.
McDaniel rebounded in the second, and the score remained tight at 16-16. However, F&M surged ahead as Garison and Yoo both recorded a pair of late kills and Allison Edelstein finished off the set with an ace for the 25-19 win. Ellie Ezekiel led the charge with four kills in the frame.
The third set began in a similar fashion to the second, with the Diplomats holding a slim 12-10 lead. However, F&M soon put the match away with another blistering 9-0 run on the serve of Leneweaver. Three kills from Ezekiel and two from Yoo gave the Diplomats a 21-10 lead that McDaniel would never seriously contest, coasting to the 25-16 clincher.
Ezekiel paced the F&M offense with 11 kills on a night that began with a ceremony to recognize her recent passing of the 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs milestone. She was closely followed by Polisano (10 kills, .588) and Garison (10, .529) on a productive and efficient night for the Diplomats. Polisano totaled a career-high seven aces as well.
Leneweaver led the defense with 19 digs, while Ezekiel added 13 to her big night.
The action continues on Saturday as F&M heads to Muhlenberg for another vital CC matchup at 12:00 p.m., followed by a nonconference clash with Union at 2:00 p.m.