WEST CHESTER, Pa. (August 31, 2018) – The Franklin Pierce University volleyball program earned their first victory of the season Friday afternoon as they swept through Salem University 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-13), but they suffered a 3-1 loss to host West Chester University in the nightcap of Ramfest 2018.
Freshman outside hitter Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) totaled a team-high 17 kills across the two contests. Sarah Roach (Provo, Utah) and Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had 13 kills each.
Game One: Ravens 3, Tigers 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-13)
The Ravens earned their first win of 2018 sweeping through Salem in straight sets. As a team, FPU accrued a .185 hitting percentage and 11 service aces. Sarah Roach amassed a team-leading nine kills in the contest to go along with five digs and two aces. Cierra Dolan produced eight kills and the Ravens lone block in the showdown. Junior middle blocker Abigail Garnhart fresh off her selection to the Raven First Serve Invitational Second Team hit .267 and recorded seven kills.
Junior defensive specialist Jocelyn Moody (Biddeford, Maine) tacked on five digs on defense and a match-best five aces. Setter Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) doled out 29 assists and junior libero Marisa Lamb (Phoenix, Ariz.) tallied 18 digs.
For the Tigers, Jalavia Johnson ended up with nine kills, four digs, two total blocks and a .368 hitting percentage.
In the first set the Crimson and Grey jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead as Roach served and dumped in two aces to bookend the scoring. Back-to-back Raven ball handling errors and an Alaina Weltz ace moved Salem within two, 13-11. The Ravens looked to halt the Tigers momentum with a timeout, but they eventually took a 15-14 advantage via three consecutive Raven attack errors. FPU took a two-point 17-15 lead following kills from Breanna Mineweaser (Honey Brook, Pa.) and Abigail Garnhart. Later in the set, a Nina Isaac kill set up by Weltz pushed Salem back in front 21-20, however, Moody notched three aces over the final five points, including the set clincher to give the Ravens a 1-0 lead.
Franklin Pierce started fast again scoring the opening three points to lead 3-0. Salem quickly tied the score as the teams swapped points. Holding a one-point lead over FPU 12-11, Salem out produced the Ravens 4-1 to increase their edge to 16-12. Kills by Dolan and Mineweaser combined with attack errors deadlocked the score at 16-16. Both squads traded markers until the Ravens pulled away late as Moody concluded the set with two straight service aces. The Ravens hit a match-best .279 during their second set victory.
The Ravens dominated the Tigers in the third and final set as they outscored Salem 18-8 when FPU was trailing by two, 7-5 to clinch the 3-0 sweep.
Game Two: Golden Rams 3, Ravens 1 (13-25, 13-25, 25-17, 9-25)
Cierra Dolan once again was the main point of attack for the Ravens as she racked up a team-high nine kills in the setback. Abigail Garnhart had six kills, one block, and one ace while Mary Pease manufactured 15 helpers, 11 digs, and two aces. Four players who had double-digit kills led the Golden Rams offense. Allie Duffy and Julia Vreeswyk tallied 11 kills apiece.
WCU held a 5-0 advantage early until the Ravens clawed back to tie the score at 6-6 following aces struck by Roach and Abigail Garnhart. West Chester regained the advantage and led by four, 17-13 after an attack error. The hosts closed the first set with eight consecutive points all with Jillian Grammer serving.
The second set was more of the same for West Chester as the Golden Rams and Ravens traded possessions early before WCU pulled in front by 11, 22-11 via a Nicki Yates ace. A Roach kill and a dual block from Dolan and Mineweaser brought the deficit down to nine. West Chester concluded the scoring with three consecutive points to take a 2-0 set lead.
Trailing 2-0 in the third set, the Ravens captured a 6-4 advantage on the strength of three attack errors. Ahead by two, Pierce used four in a row including kills from Moody and Abigail Garnhart to lead 11-5 forcing the Golden Rams into a timeout.
A Mary Pease ace gave the Ravens a 15-8 lead until two more errors pushed their edge to a set high nine points. West Chester slowly chipped away as they came within seven at 24-17, but freshman middle blocker Corinne McCarthy (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Mineweaser blocked Vreeswyk at the net to make the showdown 2-1 in favor of the hosts.
West Chester held the Ravens to only nine points in the fourth set, as they remained undefeated on the young season.
The Crimson and Grey head back to the court tomorrow for two more matches, the first against Goldey-Beacom at 10:00 a.m. and the second versus Fairmont State at noon.
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 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/).