LANCASTER, Pa. – A depleted Franklin & Marshall squad got 23 kills from Grace Polisano and 22 from Ellie Ezekiel to nab a 3-1 victory over Gettysburg on Wednesday night in Centennial Conference (CC) volleyball action. The win, which clinched a conference playoff berth for the Diplomats, improved F&M's record to 17-8, 6-3 CC while the Bullets fell to 16-8, 5-4 CC.
Down its two primary middle blockers, F&M entered the fourth set with a 2-1 lead. A steady defensive effort from Sarah Mirza and Natalie Weaver combined with seven kills from Polisano and five from Ezekiel to give F&M a clinching 26-24 victory. Key moments included a solo block from Allison Edelstein to give the Diplomats a 19-16 lead, and two straight kills from Polisano to close out the match after a 24-24 tie in the fourth.
In the first set, two kills from Ezekiel and one from Christine Yoo fueled a 5-0 run on the serve of Polisano to give F&M a 15-11 edge. The Bullets fought back to within one at 20-19, but an ace from Mary Leneweaver stemmed the tide as the Diplomats pulled out a 25-23 win in the opener. Seven kills from Ezekiel and six from Polisano led the F&M offense in the frame.
After falling behind 7-0 in the second and dropping a 25-13 decision in the frame, the Diplomats took charge early in the third by taking a 9-2 lead. That lead grew to as much as 10 at 19-9, with Sarah Landry claiming the final kill of the set as F&M took a 25-16 win to take a 2-1 advantage.
Polisano (23 kills, .352) and Ezekiel (22, .327) led the offense while Edelstein passed out 55 assists. Ezekiel tallied 28 digs to complete her double-double, while Leneweaver tallied 22 digs after being honored for reaching 1,000 digs before the match.
F&M is now locked into next Wednesday's CC First Round match where Haverford awaits. A victory in Saturday's 11:00 a.m. match with Dickinson will give the Diplomats the No. 4 seed, while a loss coupled with a Haverford win will make F&M the No. 5 seed.
Following Saturday's match with Dickinson, the Diplomats close out the regular season slate by taking on Moravian for Senior Day at 3:30 p.m.