FRANKLIN, Ind. – Playing in front of their home fans for the first time in nearly three weeks, the Franklin volleyball team welcomed the Spalding Golden Eagles to the Spurlock Center for the first of four straight home matches.
The Grizzlies (9-7) took an early lead before the Golden Eagles (3-8) stormed back to take the next two sets. A fifth and deciding game was needed, but the decision went the way as Spalding took the fifth game to win 18-25, 25-21, 25-19, 14-25, 15-10.
The opening game saw Franklin take advantage of a shaky Spalding attack, with the Eagles committing eight errors and finishing the set with a .064 attacking percentage. The set's deciding run came with Franklin taking nine out of 11 points, turning a one-point lead into a 22-14 advantage and all the room they needed to take the opening game.
Spalding got back in the contest with back-to-back sets that saw them hit over .200 as a team, pushing the Grizzlies to the brink. Franklin responded with their best offensive set of the night, racking up 12 kills and hitting .290 in game four. The Grizzlies closed out the Eagles emphatically to force a fifth game, taking 15 of the final 19 points.
In the deciding set, the Eagles put the game out of reach with a 4-0 run on their way to taking seven of the final nine points.
Senior right side hitter Jenna Spini had a career evening, putting away a personal best 13 kills while hitting a team-best .333 on the night. Junior Abby Sewell had another effective night at the front of the net, racking up 12 kills and adding 10 digs for her first double-double of the year.
Sewell was one of five Grizzlies to reach double digits in kills with Kylie Paul and Allison Thompson topping the club with 20 each. Kyra Harvey and Mackenzie Waldran matched Sewell with 10 digs each with Waldran handing out a team-high 41 assists.
Franklin continues their homestand and opens up conference play on Friday (Sept. 27) night, hosting Manchester and Capital as part of a home tri-match. The Grizzlies and Spartans meet at 4:00 p.m. with Franklin to meet Capital at 8:00 p.m.