CINCINNATI, Ohio – Conference play resumed for the Franklin volleyball team on Saturday (Oct. 5) afternoon, with the Grizzlies meeting Mount St. Joseph ahead of a non-conference meeting with Mount Vernon Nazarene.
The Grizzlies (14-7, 2-0 HCAC) remained unbeaten in league play after knocking off the Lions (11-6, 0-1 HCAC) in four sets to open the day. Franklin needed all five sets in the second match of the day but were able to extend their winning streak to five with a hard-fought triumph over the Cougars (18-5).
Franklin 3 – Mount St. Joseph 1
With the opening set tied at 13, Franklin closed out game one in dominant fashion. The Grizzlies took 10 of the final 12 points in the set, four coming off Kyndall Boyll kills to down the Lions 25-15. Franklin hit .243 in the opening set while holding the Lions to a mere .063 attacking percentage in the opening game.
Game two was an air-tight contest that featured four lead changes and seven ties along the way. The Lions jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, but Franklin rallied back to take their first lead of the set with a 7-1 run that made it 15-12. The Lions clawed back to even things up at 20 and after MSJ fought off game point twice, Franklin closed out a 25-23 game two win with Grace Laker delivering the final kill.
The Lions jumped out to a big lead in game four before holding on for a 25-21 win to keep the game alive. Franklin put the match away early in game four, racing out to a big lead en route to a 25-12 win.
Abby Sewell turned in a dominant performance for the Grizzlies, burying a game-high 16 kills while adding three blocks and an ace. Mackenzie Waldran racked up a double-double with 21 assists and 16 digs on the day. Franklin's trio of defensive specialists all turned in strong showings with Allison Thompson (31), Morgan Curtis (11) and Kylie Paul (10) hitting double figures in digs.
Franklin 3 - Mount Vernon Nazarene 2
Set one was all Cougars as they jumped out to an early advantage with a 25-16 win. Franklin shook off the deficit by jumping out to a 12-3 lead in the second set before holding off a strong push late from the Cougars to even things up with a 25-23 win.
The Cougars dominated the third set, rattling off an 11-3 to close out another 25-16 win and push the Grizzlies to the brink of defeat. But Franklin turned it around in game four with a match-high 17 kills and .265 hitting percentage in the set to earn a 25-20 win.
In the deciding set, the Grizzlies started off strong with a 5-3 lead before four straight Cougar points put Mount Vernon Nazarene in front for the first time in the game. Down by a point when the teams switched sides, Franklin rattled off five straight points to take the lead for good on their way to a 15-12 match-winning victory.
Boyll was dominant in the night cap, putting down 15 kills and adding a pair of solo blocks. Sewell and Kyra Harvey added 11 put aways each with Sewell's .308 hitting percentage best on the team. Billie Jarrett had 38 assists and 10 digs in her return to the lineup. Thompson and Paul turned in strong showings on the back line, finishing with 25 and 16 digs, respectively.
The Grizzlies continue conference play on Wednesday (Oct. 9) night, hitting the road for a showdown at Rose-Hulman. First serve from Terre Haute, Ind. is set for 7:00 p.m.