FRANKLIN – Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in 2017, the Franklin volleyball team made quick work of Wilmington College (Ohio) on Wednesday night, using a relentless offense and the team's depth to their advantage in a straight-set win.
The Grizzlies (3-1) held the Quakers (0-3) offense to a .033 hitting percentage while swinging at a .274 clip on the attack. Nine different Grizzlies recorded at least one kill and the team's constantly-changing lineup kept the Quakers off-balance and allowed the Franklin depth to overwhelm their opponent.
"Everyone did a great job tonight and it was big for us to put anybody in and not miss a beat was huge," FC head coach Mary Johnston said. "The first home match is always nerve-racking, especially for our freshmen but everyone finished tonight. We're really confident in all 19 of our players and with the way they played tonight is a big reason why."
"It's great to know that we can throw anyone in at any time and they will contribute," Freshman Abigail Sewell added. "Everyone contributed up and down the lineup and did great. It's great to know we have that kind of depth on our team."
Franklin wasted no time putting their high-powered attack to work, going on an 8-1 run early in the first set to take the lead for good. Brooke Harvey had a team-high five kills in the opening game as Franklin overpowered the Quakers, hitting .296 in the opening set while keeping Wilmington to a -.100 hitting percentage on their way to a 25-13 win.
The Grizzlies raced out to a 15-5 lead in the second set and never looked back on their way to a 25-18 win in the second set. Once again, the offense proved to be too much for the Quaker defense as Franklin hit a whopping .379 in the second game.
Game three was tight in the early going before a 9-1 Franklin run made it 17-8 and ended any hope of a Quaker comeback. Avery Sparks put the finishing touches on the victory with an ace to seal a 25-13 game three win for the hosts.
Sparks led the Grizzlies with nine kills on the night without recording an attacking error. Sewell (six kills), Harvey (five) and Kennedy Surface (five kills) finished right behind the freshman attacker in total putaways.
Libby Stahl was the only member of the team to hit double digits for digs, finishing with 10 on the night. Sewell led the team with three blocks and tied with Sparks for the team lead with three aces. Making her second straight start at setter, Jourdan Worthington finished with 28 helpers.
Next up for the Griz is their second tournament of the fall, coming up this weekend at the Hanover Invitational. Franklin opens the two-day tournament against Ohio Wesleyan on Friday night. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m.