HANOVER, Ind. – Playing their final two matches of the Hanover Invitational on Saturday, the Franklin volleyball team was tested from the opening serve on their way to a split against Centre College and St. Mary-of-the-Woods.
The Grizzlies (4-3) rallied from down two sets to force a fifth game against the Colonels before dropping a heart-breaker in the deciding game. FC responded with a hard-fought four-set win over the Pomeroys to close out the weekend's festivities.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, Franklin's Gab Arthur was named to the all-tournament team after the Bedford, Ind.-native finished with 24 kills and 22 digs over the weekend.
CENTRE 3 – FRANKLIN 2 (24-26, 23-25, 25-12, 25-22, 15-17)
The first two sets were tightly contested with the decision up for grabs late in both games. However, Centre was able to take both sets and an early 2-0 lead over the Grizzlies.
Game three was all Franklin as the Griz surged out to a 13-2 lead and never looked back. The Grizzlies had their best offensive set of the match in game three, swinging at a .279 clip and holding the Colonels offense to a -.073 attack percentage.
The Franklin defense stepped up in a big way in set number four, forcing the Colonels into a -.077 hitting percentage. Avery Sparks put the finishing touches on the set four win, evening up the match with a thunderous kill to close things out.
Set five was another battle between the two evenly-matched teams. Franklin was able to fight off match point twice, but came up just short as the Colonels grabbed the last two points to take the match.
FRANKLIN 3 – ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS 1 (25-12, 17-25, 25-16, 25-18)
The Grizzlies took out their frustrations on the Pomeroys in the opening set, turning what was a 12-10 FC lead into a rout by taking 13 of the last 15 points in game one. The Franklin attack was at its best in set one, hitting .375 as a team.
The Pomeroys evened things up with a game two win, but were overpowered by the Grizzlies' offense again in game three. FC finished with 15 kills and a .257 attack percentage en route to the win. The key stretch in set three came when the Griz erased a 9-7 deficit with a 9-1 run that put them within a game of a win.
Game four was a back-and forth duel until late when a 7-3 Franklin run to close out the match, highlighted by two late aces from Amanda Lelivelt. The FC attack continued to torment the Pomeroys in the final game, as Franklin finished with 16 kills and a .308 hitting percentage in the deciding set.
Sparks finished with a team-high 13 kills with Harvey and Abigail Sewell adding 11 putways each. Five Grizzlies hit double figures in digs, with Stahl's 20 leading all players. Worthington handed out 26 assists and Carrigan Peak added 21 helpers for the Grizzlies.
Franklin will return home for their next contest, which comes on Wednesday, Sept. 13 against Spalding. First serve from the Spurlock Center is set for 7:00 p.m.