JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Play continued for the Franklin volleyball team at the Illinois College Tournament on Saturday afternoon. After splitting on day one, the Grizzlies closed out the tournament with two emphatic wins, downing both Illinois College and Robert Morris (Ill.) in straight sets to improve to 8-4 on the year.
The Grizzlies were in a hard-fought battle with the tournament hosts in the morning session. Franklin and Illinois College were neck-and-neck until the very end, but the Grizzlies were able to dig deep late to win each set; 27-25, 25-23, 25-23.
In the afternoon session, the Griz made it look easy against Robert Morris, cruising past the Eagles 25-6, 25-11, 25-11.
Franklin's offense was the key to its success in the win over Illinois College. The Grizzlies finished with 47 kills and hit .226 in the morning. Avery Sparks led FC with 12 put aways and a .360 hitting percentage. Kennedy Surface finished off 10 kills while Amanda Lelivelt had 9 kills and a team-high .444 hitting percentage.
Nico Morris had 47 assists for Franklin in the opener. Defensively, the Grizzlies kept the Lady Blues to a .123 attacking percentage. Libby Stahl had a team-high 25 digs while Morris, Sparks and Gab Arthur all had 10 digs. Lelivelt finished with a team-high four blocks while FC finished the game with seven rejections.
Against Robert Morris, the Grizzlies wasted no time putting each set out of reach. FC opened up big leads early on their way to their most convincing win of the year.
Franklin hit at a .354 clip in the afternoon session, which included an astounding .588 hitting percentage in the first set. Surface led all players with eight kills in game two, giving her a team-leading 18 on Saturday alone.
Jourdan Worthington tossed up 28 assists against the Eagles while Stahl led the defense with 16 digs.
The Grizzlies look to keep their brief winning streak going this coming Wednesday (Sept. 20), when they hit the road to face St. Mary-of-the-Woods. It will be the second meeting of the year between the two teams with Franklin taking down the Pomeroys in four sets back on Sept. 9.
First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.