FRANKLIN – The Franklin College volleyball team returned to action inside the Spurlock Center on Wednesday night, taking on the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) match.
Freshman Avery Sparks finished with a career-high 18 kills, but it wasn't enough as the Grizzlies (10-10, 0-4 HCAC) were done in by an efficient Rose-Hulman (14-9, 4-1 HCAC) attack that hit .221 on the night on their way to a four-set win.
With game one even at seven, Rose-Hulman rattled off a 9-2 run that put them ahead for good. The Grizzlies would get within four points later in the set, but it's as close as they would come before the Engineers finished off a 25-19 game one win.
The two sides exchanged a number of leads and ties early in game two. But with the score tied at 10, the Engineers went on a 15-4 run to close out the set, taking the final nine points of game two to go up 2-0 with a 25-14 win.
Franklin's offense came alive in the third set, hitting .300 for the game as Franklin stayed alive with a 25-20 win. Sparks was dominant during the third game, recording eight kills on 12 attempts without committing an error to spark the Grizzlies' attack.
But there was no comeback in store on Wednesday night as the Engineers used a late surge to take game four and the match, 25-17.
Brooke Harvey joined Sparks in double-figures with 13 kills, swinging at a .205 clip on the night. Abigail Sewell led the Grizzlies' net-front defense, recording one solo block and six blocking assists.
Libby Stahl topped the Grizzlies with 23 digs and was joined in double figures in that category by Sparks, who completed the double-double with 11 digs. Nico Morris led the team with 19 assists while Carrigan Peak finished with 16 helpers.
The Grizzlies look to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon, when they hit the road to take on Anderson University. First serve is set for noon.