FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College volleyball team stepped onto the court for the final time in 2017 on Saturday night, taking on the Mount St. Joseph Lions inside the Spurlock Center.
For seniors Carrigan Peak, Sarah Labra, Brooke Harvey and Amanda Lelivelt, it was their last chance to suit up in the blue and gold. All four players got to close their playing careers on a high note, as Franklin (11-14, 1-8 HCAC) downed the Lions (13-13, 3-6 HCAC) in a five-set thriller, 18-25, 25-14, 25-15, 14-25, 15-12.
Three Grizzlies racked up double digit kills on Saturday night. Lelivelt was dominant on the attack, putting away 15 balls and finishing with a .375 attacking percentage. Sophomore Kennedy Surface had her best game of the year, finishing with a season-high 14 kills and a .256 hitting percentage. Avery Sparks added to the attack with 12 kills of her own.
After dropping the first set, the Grizzlies held a slim lead midway through the second set. That's when Franklin went on a tear, pulling ahead with an 11-1 run that vaulted them from down 9-8 to ahead 19-10. FC closed out game two with a 6-2 run, evening things up at one set each.
In game three, the Franklin offense was nothing short of dominant in helping the Grizzlies take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Grizzlies hit .361 in game three, finishing with 16 kills to just three attack errors and ending the game by taking 15 of the last 20 points.
The Lions would not go down without a fight, taking game four in convincing fashion to set up a deciding fifth game. With the set tied at five, the Grizzlies would seize command by taking six of the next eight points.
Mount St. Joseph battled back with a 5-1 run to even things up at 12, but would come no closer as Sparks put the Grizzlies back in front and Lelivelt would fittingly close out her final career match with back-to-back kills to seal the win.
Harvey finished with eight kills, a pair of service aces and a .172 hitting percentage in her final match. Peak served up 37 assists and matched Harvey for the most aces on the club with two. Labra dug up seven balls and assisted on a pair of kills in her final career match.
Defensively, the Grizzlies were paced by junior libero Libby Stahl and her 36 digs. Sparks would add 19 digs to go along with her 12 kills while Peak also recorded a double-double, finishing with 10 digs. Abigail Sewell anchored the net-front defense, finishing with one solo block and six tandem rejections to lead all players.