RECAP | Franklin Earns Saturday Split to Close Out East Coast Swing

Amanda Lelivelt (left) and Gab Arthur defend the net against Brandeis (Photo courtesy of Adam Levin)
Amanda Lelivelt (left) and Gab Arthur defend the net against Brandeis (Photo courtesy of Adam Levin)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Franklin College volleyball team wrapped up a successful opening weekend at the Brandeis Invitational on Saturday.

After winning their opener in style on Friday night, Franklin made it two wins in a row with a four-set victory over host Brandeis in the morning session. The afternoon match featured a hard-fought battle against Babson that saw Franklin throw everything they had at the Beavers in a three-set defeat.

Franklin 3 – Brandeis 1

The opening set of the day was highlighted by a tenacious Franklin attack that put away 17 kills and hit .167 on their way to a 25-15 game one win. The key point in the set came early when Franklin rattled off a 6-0 run to give them a lead they wouldn't let go of.

Set two saw the Judges turn the trick and even things up with a 25-19 win in game two. The Grizzlies responded with another 25-15 win in the third set, turning what was once an 11-8 score into 21-11, putting them within a game of victory.

FC raced out to an early 8-2 lead in the fourth set, but had to hold off a furious charge from the hosts to hold on. Avery Sparks put the stamp on the win with a thunderous kill to close out a 25-23 win in the deciding set.

Kennedy Surface (13 kills), Brooke Harvey (12 kills) and Gab Arthur (11 kills) paced the Franklin attack and Nico Morris handed out 47 helpers in the win. Defensively, the Grizzlies were stout up and down the lineup, recording just four reception errors against 112 digs. Libby Stahl dug up 29 balls and was joined in double-figures by Arthur (23 digs), Morris (22 digs) and Carrigan Peak (14 digs).

Peak added a team-high four service aces while Morris and Harvey finished with a pair of aces each.

Babson 3 – Franklin 0

After dropping the first set, Franklin bounced back with a strong showing in the second set. No team had a lead larger than four points in game number two, but the Beavers were able to take the final three points in a marathon 31-29 second set.

The third and deciding set proved to be another tight contest with the two teams constantly exchanging the lead. Set three needed extra points as well and once again, Babson captured the final three points to seal the match with a 28-26 win in game three.

Surface and Avery Sparks paced the Grizzlies with eight kills each while recording the highest hitting percentages with .438 and .235, respectively. Jourdan Worthington tossed up 24 assists for her attackers while Stahl was the lone Grizzly to hit double digits in digs with 15.

Franklin steps on to their home court for the first time in 2017 this coming Wednesday (Sept. 6), taking on Wilmington (Ohio). First serve from the Spurlock Center is set for 7:00 p.m.