Diplomats Outlast Washington, Fall to Salisbury

Diplomats Outlast Washington, Fall to Salisbury

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Franklin & Marshall volleyball snatched a 3-2 victory over hosts Washington in the first half of a trimatch on Saturday afternoon, before falling 3-0 to Salisbury in the second match of the day. The split moved the Diplomat record to 16-8 overall, while the victory against Washington improved their conference record to 5-3.

The dramatic fifth frame heated up as Washington fought back from an 11-5 deficit to take a 15-14 lead. F&M staved off defeat with a kill from Grace Polisano, and claimed the crucial CC victory four points later on a clinching kill from Christine Yoo.

F&M opened the first set by taking a 10-4 advantage after an 8-1 run. The Shorewomen never got closer than five as four kills from Ellie Ezekiel powered the Diplomats to a 25-14 victory in the first set.

A back-and-forth second frame saw the Shorewomen break an 18-18 deadlock with a 3-0 run, squeaking out a 25-23 victory to even the match at 1-1. The third set proved to be hotly contested as well, staying tied at 27-27. However, the Diplomats held on and served out a 29-27 victory with an ace from Yoo. Ezekiel logged six kills in the frame to again lead F&M to a one-set advantage.

A 6-1 run over the middle of the fourth set proved to be the difference as the Shorewomen took a 16-11 lead that the Diplomats never fully erased, falling 25-19 to set up the dramatic fifth set.

Ezekiel hammered 21 kills to lead the offense, while Polisano (15) and Yoo (11) also reached double figures. Lydia Budd dished out a career-high 53 assists in the match.

Defensively, F&M saw six players tally double-digit digs, led by 28 from Mary Leneweaver.

The second match of the day against Salisbury started with another close set that saw late ties at 20, 21, and 24. This time, F&M came up just short as two kills from Salisbury's Katie Stouffer gave the Sea Gulls the 26-24 opener. 

A 6-0 run from Salisbury gave the Sea Gulls a 7-1 edge. That lead grew to as much as 10 at 20-10, eventually finishing 25-14 for a 2-0 Salisbury lead. The third set more closely resembled the first, with the score remaining tied at 20. The Sea Gulls once again pulled out a close one, winning five of the last six points to take a 25-21 victory and a 3-0 sweep.

Ezekiel again led the offense with 13 kills, while Polisano added nine and Yoo tallied eight. Leneweaver (12) and Ezekiel (10) led the defense with double-digit kills each.

The Diplomats return to action for another huge CC contest on Wednesday, hosting Gettysburg at 7:00 p.m.