RINDGE N.H. (September 22, 2018) – The Franklin Pierce University volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking defeat Saturday evening as they were dropped 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 24-26, 24-26) by Northeast-10 Conference foe Stonehill College at The Fieldhouse. With the win, the Skyhawks soar to 6-5, 2-1 NE10 while the Crimson and Grey are still in search of their first league victory.
Stonehill trailed in the third and fourth set by a couple of points, they came from behind to win both sets and eventually the match. As a team, the Ravens recorded their second best hitting performance on the season (.255) and won the battle at the net (17-to-10) but Stonehill generated more attack attempts (189-to-149), kills (71-to-52) and aces (8-to-2)
Raven junior middle blocker Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) paced the Ravens offense with a team-best 13 kills and a .480 hitting percentage. The team captain also generated four total blocks on the defensive end. Jocelyn Moody (Biddeford, Maine) and Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) produced 10 kills each with Moody hitting .308 in the match. Sarah Roach (Provo, Utah) tallied a game-high five total blocks and Marisa Lamb (Phoenix, Ariz.) manufactured a match-best 18 digs on the defensive end.
Moody gave the Ravens their first lead of the match at 2-1 when she bashed home back-to-back kills from the left pin. Stonehill pushed back in the lead at 16-13 following a Lauren Wilke and Allyson Hughes connection. The Ravens cooled the Stonehill momentum with a time-out and after the stoppage, Roach exploded for three consecutive kills by the left pin. A Raven service error briefly put Stonehill back ahead at 17-16 until Roach brought the opening set to a deadlock by bashing another kill from the outside. The Skyhawks increased their advantage to three, 22-19 off a Megan Pennion kill, but A Dolan right side mash and a Stonehill service error made it a one-point set 23-22. Holding a one-point cushion, Allyson Hughes finished off the set at 25-23.
Pierce leaped into a 3-0 advantage during the early stages of the second set via a dual block from Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) and Abigail Garnhart. Following a Roach solo stuff, Stonehill notched five consecutive points, three coming via Raven mistakes to deadlock the score 8-8. The score was tied 13-13 before three in a row from the Ravens including a Dolan kill at the middle of the net gave FPU a 16-13 edge. Megan Pennino had Stonehill three points away from a commanding 2-0 match lead at 22-20 until four straight markers by FPU put them one score away to knotting up the showdown. Dolan capped off the Ravens comeback bid with the 25th and deciding point.
The Ravens streaked out to a 3-0 lead once again in the third set. The Stonehill deficit remained at three, 6-3 when Dolan and Garnhart blocked Hughes attempted kill at the net. After a Breanna Mineweaser (Honey Brook, Pa.) kill from the middle block, Stonehill tied the important third set at 14-14 using a double-block from Sophia Poveda and Clare Feeman. Mineweaser came up huge once again as her solo block of Ruby Moreland upped the Pierce advantage to 22-18 late in the third set. Stonehill rallied with six straight points to lead 24-23. The Ravens took a timeout and were on defense as Abigail Garnhart mashed a solo block from the middle. Lauren Wilke set up Clare Feeman and Allyson Hughes to complete the Skyhawks first comeback.
Franklin Pierce looked primed to win the fourth set as they led 20-15 after two Mineweaser kills, two back-to-back Roach blocks and a Moody kill. Holding a 22-16 lead, Stonehill closed the gap to 22-21 as Dolan was blocked by Hughes and Megan Pennino. Dolan atoned for her attacking error by giving Hughes a taste of her own medicine when she slammed her attempted attack onto the right side of the court. Hughes committed a crucial attack error on the next possession, which put the Ravens one point away from sending the match to a game-deciding fifth set. Three consecutive Stonehill kills combined with two Raven mistakes finalized the Skyhawks second impressive comeback.
Allyson Hughes led all players with a game-high 24 digs on 61 total attempts. Lauren Wilke dished out 58 assists in the win.
Franklin Pierce heads out on the road Tuesday when they travel to interstate and NE10 opponent Southern New Hampshire University for a 7:00 p.m. match.
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 (http://fpuravens.com/store). You can also follow the volleyball program on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensVB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpuravensvb/).