DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Franklin College volleyball team hit the road for their first conference road match of the year on Saturday against the Defiance Yellow Jackets.
Franklin (10-6, 0-2 HCAC) rallied back to force a fifth and deciding set against the Jackets (6-8, 1-0 HCAC). But the hosts were able to hold off Franklin in five sets, 19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 17-15.
Senior Amanda Lelivelt recorded her third straight double-digit kill game, putting away 17 balls on the afternoon. Brooke Harvey set a season-high with 16 kills and Jenna Spini racked up a career-high 10 kills for Franklin.
Game one was a back-and-forth affair from the outset with the Grizzlies holding a slim 10-9 lead early on. That's when the Grizzlies took game one over, rattling off an 9-2 run to seize control and ride that wave to a 1-0 lead. Franklin's offense came out swinging in the opening set, finishing with 20 kills and a .222 hitting percentage.
The Grizzlies weren't able to replicate that success over the next two sets, combining for 18 kills and a .002 attacking percentage as Defiance grabbed the next two games.
With their backs against the wall, Franklin responded with a crucial win in game four. Franklin jumped out to a 14-4 lead to start the set, but the Yellow Jackets would answer and close the gap to 17-15. It was as close as the hosts would get as the Grizzlies closed out the game by scoring eight of the last 10 points. FC hit a game-high .229 in set four.
Game five was a see-saw battle at the start, but a 4-0 Defiance run put the hosts up 9-5. Franklin would rally to force game point, but Defiance grabbed four of the final five points to steal the win.
The Grizzlies swung it at a .103 clip on Saturday, finishing with 60 kills on 213 attempts. Sophomore Nico Morris served up 44 assists on the day and finished with a team-leading two service aces. Defensively, three players finished in double figures in digs. Libby Stahl's 33 digs topped the team while Morris (19) and Kennedy Surface (10) finished second and third on the team. Lelivelt and Abigail Sewell had a pair of solo blocks each.
Franklin will have a few days off before hitting the road for their next match on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Spalding University. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.