POTSDAM, N.Y. - The Franklin & Marshall volleyball team opened the North Country Invitational with a 3-2 loss to Clarkson (25-27, 25-23, 14-25, 25-21, 16-18) on Friday night.
The Diplomats suffered their first loss of the year and fell to 4-1, while the Golden Knights improved to 5-0. Both programs received votes in the most recent AVCA national poll.
F&M was within two points of Clarkson for the entirety of the first set. The Diplomats forced Clarkson to score 27 points in order to take the opening frame.
In the second set, the Diplomats were up 24-21 before Clarkson recorded back-to-back kills and looked to force extra points, but F&M clinched the set with a kill by Delaney Hahn. Clarkson responded in the third. After being knotted up 8-8, the Golden Knights went on a 17-6 run to win the set.
The Diplomats did not give in. F&M took a 23-17 lead in set four that started to narrow when Clarkson surged to bring the score to 23-21, but Grace Polisano and Hahn slammed back-to-back kills to seal the victory and force a fifth set.
Finding itself down 11-8 in the fifth set, F&M went on a 7-3 run to go up 15-14. The Diplomats then went up 16-15 before Clarkson recorded three straight kills to take the set 18-16, and the match 3-2.
Allison Franke led the F&M offense with 19 kills. Hahn was second on the team with 16.
Grace Maggiore recorded 54 assists across the five sets.
The Diplomats play two games Saturday to close out the North Country Invitational. F&M faces Brockport at 3:00 p.m. and the host, Saint Lawrence, at 5:00 p.m.