Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College volleyball team earned a pair of four-set home triumphs over Manchester University and Otterbein University on Saturday inside the Spurlock Center.
The Grizzlies won their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener with the victory over Manchester (25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 30-28). Then, team defeated Otterbein (26-24, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21) in non-conference action to improve its record to 9-9 for the season.
In the Manchester match, Franklin posted a .255 hitting percentage with 52 kills. Sophomore Amanda Lelivelt (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Riverside Brookfield) led the effort with 14 kills and no errors for a .667 hitting percentage. Senior Kourtney Settle (Vallonia, Ind./Brownstown Central) also recorded 14 kills in the victory.
In the fourth set, a kill by Settle gave the hosts a 26-25 lead. However, the Spartans won the next two points to take a 27-26 lead. Another kill from Settle squared the set once again, and Lelivelt gave the Grizzlies the advantage for good with a kill. Winning the next point secured the victory.
Junior Ashley Bazier (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute South) helped distribute the offensive performance with 45 assists. She also contributed 20 digs defensively.
Senior Mackenzie Wieneke (Seymour, Ind./Seymour) led Franklin with 30 digs, and two serving aces. Senior Theresa Brown (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) added 17 digs, while classmate Hope Steel (New Palestine, Ind./Lutheran) recorded 12 digs.
Against Otterbein, the team went on a 9-2 run behind the Brown's serves to hold a 12-10 lead in the first set. The Grizzlies won the extended set to take early momentum of the match.
After losing the second set, Franklin regained the advantage with a kill from sophomore Lauren Harmon (Greenfield, Ind./Eastern Hancock) to take the third set by a 25-21 score. The team led 14-7 in the fourth set due to a run on Bazier's serves.
Otterbein bounced back and trailed 19-18 before a kill from Settle propelled Franklin to the victory.
Lelivelt led the Grizzlies in the later match with 12 kills, while Harvey chipped in 10 kills. Settle posted a .318 hitting percentage, and had nine kills and only two errors. Young added seven kills, and Harmon recorded six kills off the bench.
Bazier once again registered 45 assists, and contributed 21 digs defensively against Otterbein.
Wieneke had 26 kills and was one of four players to reach double figures in that statistical category. Steel added 11 digs, while sophomore Sarah Labra (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) had 10 digs.
Franklin returns to action on Tuesday, September 29, at 7 p.m. when it travels to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana.