RINDGE, N.H. (August 23, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University volleyball freshman outside hitter Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) began her collegiate career producing a match-high 13 kills, but the Ravens dropped their season opener 3-0 (24-26, 20-25, 20-25) to non-conference opponent Texas A&M International University Thursday afternoon in The Fieldhouse. The win and loss were each squads first of the year.
Dolan totaled a whopping 36 total attacks in the duel as she also showed off her serving prowess with a game-best four service aces. The newcomer chipped in seven digs on the defensive end as well. Teammate Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) added eight kills for FPU while senior Brittney Carias (Burlingame, Calif.) stuffed the box score with five kills, six digs, two aces and one block.
For the guests, Allison Wade carried the load offensively with a team-best nine kills. Lacy Asdourian manufactured 12 digs on defense for the Dustdevils.
Carias took service for the Ravens opening three points of the contest. Sophomore Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) pushed over the ball off an assist from freshman Kennedy Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) for the Raven's first point of the 2018 campaign. A Pease and Abigail Garnhart connection moved the score to 2-0 before Carias notched an ace to give the Crimson and Grey a 3-0 early edge.
The Dustdevils responded by pouring on five consecutive points to lead 5-3 following a Raven attack error. Trailing by three, FPU produced four in a row including a Dolan ace that drilled Asdourian in the chest and bounced out of play to lead 9-8. In the later stages of the first set, freshman Breanna Mineweaser (Honey Brook, Pa.) protected the middle of the floor and stuffed Annie Deininger at the net to up Pierce's lead to 19-15. The Dustdevils eventually came back to deadlock the duel at 20-20 after a Raven attack error. Ahead by one 24-23 with service pending, the birds were one point away from a set victory, but the serve tickled the twine. A dual block by Mackenzie Catlina and Annie Deininger, and a Deininger kill sealed the set win for the guests.
Trailing 2-0 in set two, three straight markers off a Dolan kill, a Pease ace and a Dustdevil attack error pushed the Ravens in front briefly. The squads traded points until Mineweaser whacked the ball into the middle of the opponents side to knot the set at 4-4. Lacy Asdourian pushed her team ahead 11-6, but the resilient Ravens stormed back with six straight points to lead 12-11 as Dolan notched two kills and Carias tallied an ace.
Texas A&M International rallied with an 8-2 scoring binge of their own to lead 20-15 following an Asdourian ace. Allison Wade moved her squad within two points of a commanding two-set advantage before the Ravens chipped away at the deficit. An FPU service error ended the set in favor of the Dustdevils at 25-20.
Franklin Pierce trailed early in the third set but like they did in the earlier sets, they battled back to take a 7-6 edge via a Marisa Lamb (Phoenix, Ariz.) service ace. Texas A&M International pulled away with six consecutive points to lead by as much as seven before the Ravens cut the deficit to a low of four, 23-19 off a Catlina attack error.
The Ravens continue the early portion of their schedule tomorrow as they host the inaugural Raven First Serve Invitational.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce volleyball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (https://www.bkstr.com/franklinpiercestore/shop/apparel-and-accessories). You can also follow the volleyball program on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensVB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpuravensvb/).