FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College volleyball team hosted a special Sunday tri-match, welcoming Bluffton University and Trine University to the Spurlock Center.
The Grizzlies (15-13, 3-4 HCAC) fell into a two-set hole in both contests as both Bluffton (7-20, 3-4 HCAC) and Trine (16-11) bested the hosts in four sets each.
Bluffton 3 – Franklin 1
The Beaver offense controlled the first two sets of the day's opening match, picking up 30 kills across the two games to win 25-15 and 25-20. Game three saw the Grizzlies turn their fortunes around shaking off an early 4-0 deficit to win 25-19. Franklin's big rally came with the set tied at seven, with the hosts taking 10 of the next 12 points to blow the set open.
The fourth set was a back-and forth battle between the two league rivals, with several ties and lead changes exchanged and following back-to-back points late, the Grizzlies closed a slim deficit to 19-18. It was as close as the Grizzlies would get the rest of the night, with Bluffton closing things out with a 6-2 run to earn a 25-20 game four win.
Abby Sewell, Kyra Harvey and Kyndall Boyll tied for the team lead with 11 kills each with Billie Jarrett contributing 30 assists to the FC attack. Allison Thompson led the team with 12 digs and Grace Laker led all net-front defenders with six block assists.
Trine 3 – Franklin 1
The Thunder grabbed four of the first five points to open the game but Franklin bounced back and mid-way through the set, trailed 15-14. But the Grizzlies couldn't find the tying point as Trine opened up a one-set lead with a 25-19 win in the opening set. Trine got off to another fast start in game two with a 5-1 run to open play, but Franklin fought back and held an 18-14 lead late. But six straight Trine points followed and the guests used that momentum to snatch a 25-22 win in the second game.
The script flipped early in game three with the Grizzlies jumping out to an early lead with a 5-2 run to open the set. Franklin would hold that lead for the entirety of game three, hitting .235 and holding the Thunder to just .061 on the attack to earn a 25-19 win. The Grizzlies held the lead late in game four, but six straight Trine points to close the match sealed a 25-23 Thunder win in set four.
Harvey had a team-high 15 kills and was joined in double figures by Boyll and her 14 successful attacks. Jarrett recorded her second double-double of the day with 40 assists and 14 digs. Thompson led all FC players with 23 digs and Kylie Paul's three aces were best on the club.
Franklin begins the final week of regular season play on Tuesday (Oct. 29) night, when they hit the road to take on Hanover College in the Battle for the Golden Ball. First serve from Hanover is set for 7:00 p.m.