Ravens Take AIC to Five, Stung By Yellow Jackets 3-2

Abigail Garnhart (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)
Abigail Garnhart (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)

RINDGE, N.H. (October 2, 2018) – Three Franklin Pierce University volleyball players recorded double-digit kills as the Ravens took Northeast-10 Conference power American International College to five sets only to suffer a 3-2 (25-19, 16-25, 24-26, 26-24, 12-15) defeat Tuesday evening in the Fieldhouse. With the victory, AIC improves to 10-8, 5-2 NE10 while the Ravens dropped their fifth league battle.

As a team, the Ravens hit .307 in the match and won the battle at the net out-blocking the Yellow Jackets 11-to-10, however, the Crimson and Grey struggled in the serve/receive game with 12 reception errors. FPU hit a match-best .382 in their first set victory and they held AIC to .211 and .143 hitting percentages in the fourth and fifth sets respectively, but the Yellow Jackets service game was too much for the Ravens to handle in crunch time.

Junior Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) racked up a team-best 17 kills and hit .516 in the match for FPU. Fellow team captain and classmate Jocelyn Moody (Biddeford, Maine) tallied a career-high 15 kills to go along with eight digs and one block. Sarah Roach (Provo, Utah) was the other Raven in double-digit kills as she totaled 11, a .294 hitting percentage, 15 digs, three assists, two service aces, and one block. Setter Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) dished out 49 assists and added six kills, seven digs, a team-best three total blocks, two aces while hitting .600.

Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) began the opening set by bashing a set from Pease into the middle of the court. The teams went back and forth with serves until a Dolores Kopren service error, a Roach ace and another Pease to Dolan connection, this time from the right side pushed the hosts ahead 11-8. An Andrea Serra kill cut the deficit to 15-13 as the guests took a timeout after that point. A 5-1 Raven scoring binge upped their edge to 20-14. Moody used her soft touch at the left pin to keep it a six-point set, 22-16. For the 23rd point of the set, Moody successfully killed off a long rally to put the Ravens two points away from a first set victory. Abigail Garnhart and Pease clinched the first set for FPU when they stuffed Serra in the middle.

In the second set, a Pease block of Diva Rivas-Reyes at the left pin gave the brief advantage to the Ravens at 8-7. A 9-1 Yellow Jack run capped off by consecutive Kopren aces gave AIC a 16-9 lead midway through the set. Garnhart pulled the Ravens within seven at 19-12 until the Yellow Jackets finished off the set to tie the match 1-1.

With the Ravens behind 6-4 in the all-important third set, Pierce struck for four straight markers as Pease, Garnhart and Roach all manufactured kills and a Serra attack error pushed the Ravens ahead 8-6. The Ravens rallied late in the set trailing by two, 23-21 to knot the set via a Garnhart kill from the middle to the left endline and another Moody floater. Serra put the Yellow Jackets one point away from a 2-1 lead until Garnhart tied the score 24-24. Kopren set up Jana Potic for the 25th point and Serra notched an ace as AIC won the set 26-24.

Freshman middle blocker Breanna Mineweaser (Honey Brook, Pa.) started the fourth set with a ferocious block of Claudia Gonzalez. Dolan joined the block party when the sent back a Potic attempt to advance the Raven lead to 5-3. A Napua Gushiken service error gave the Ravens their biggest lead of the set at 10-7. The teams traded points as four in a row by AIC put them in front 20-17. The Ravens came from behind once again to tie the game via another Mineweaser solo stuff. With AIC one point away from a 3-1 match win, Moody deadlocked the score at 24-24. Another Yellow Jacket mistake pushed the Ravens back ahead 25-24 and Pease capped off the late comeback successfully killing off a feed from Marisa Lamb (Phoenix, Ariz.).

A Roach and Mineweaser double-block handed the Ravens an early 1-0 lead. Pease dished the ball to Dolan on the right side to increase the Raven advantage to 4-2. A Raven attack error and two Potic aces moved AIC back ahead 5-4. The squads traded possessions until a ball handling error by the Ravens made the score 8-7 as the teams swapped court sides. Pease tied the score at 8-8 following the switch, but a Rivas-Reyes marker and another Raven ball handing mistake positioned AIC ahead 10-8. A Moody block at the left pin brought the Ravens within one, 11-10, but the Yellow Jackets closed out the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.

Jana Potic led all players in the match with 24 kills and stood out on the defensive end with 13 digs.

The Ravens head out on the road Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. showdown with the University of New Haven.

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/).