HANOVER, Ind. – The Franklin volleyball team looked to build on their first win of the year on Saturday (Sept. 8) afternoon, with matches against Berea and Centre at the 2018 Hanover Invitational.
The Grizzlies (3-4) got off to a great start in the morning, taking down Berea (0-4) in straight sets to open the day. In the afternoon session, Franklin jumped out to a two-set lead against the Colonels (2-2) before hanging for a five-set win, the third in a row for the team.
Junior Kyra Harvey had a huge day on the attack for Franklin, finishing with 30 total kills, 22 of which she racked up against Centre. Abigail Sewell finished with a pair of 12-kill performances, hitting over .400 on the afternoon to lead all Franklin players.
In the opening game against Berea, Franklin surged out to an early lead with a 6-2 run to take an 8-3 advantage. The Grizzlies would face some adversity midway through the opening set, as an 8-1 Berea run made it 17-14 Mountaineers. But Franklin would rally with five straight points to re-take the lead, and close out a 25-22 win by taking four of the last five points.
Set two saw the Grizzlies use a 7-0 run to break a tie and take a 12-5 lead. The Grizzlies would rack up 19 kills in the set and hit .417 as a team on their way to a 25-17 set two victory. The final set was a back-and-forth battle that was a one-point game late. Just as they had done in the first set, the Grizzlies closed out the sweep with some clutch hitting down the stretch, as Kyndall Boyll and Jenna Spini put away the final two points in a 25-22 win.
The Grizzlies hit .286 as a team against Berea, with Timber Falin joining Sewell in double figures with 10 kills and a team-high three blocks. Harvey led the Grizzlies with eight digs and a trio of service aces. Mackenzie Waldran topped the squad with 22 assists.
Franklin opened the afternoon session with a thrilling 26-24 win in the opening set against Centre, hitting .242 as a team with Lexie Gifford and Boyll closing out the set with back-to-back kills. With set two tied at 10, the Grizzlies erupted to take 15 of the final 19 points, taking a 2-0 lead with a 25-14 win.
Centre rallied to push the game to a fifth set with wins of 25-23 and 25-17 in the third and fourth sets, respectively. Franklin roared out to a 7-3 lead to open the final set, but Centre would chip away at the lead and the set was tied at 12 late. One Centre service error and two Harvey kills later, the game was over as Franklin wrapped up a 15-13 victory.
Libby Stahl finished the match with a team-high 23 digs, followed by 18 from Allison Thompson and 14 from Boyll. Waldran topped the team with 21 digs, but had help as Thompson (18) and Spini (14) chipped in with the setting duties.
The Grizzlies now turn their attention to their home opener, which takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 12 against Spalding University. First serve from the Spurlock Center is set for 7:00 p.m.