RINDGE, N.H. (October 9, 2018) – Junior middle blocker Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led all players with a match-high 16 kills as the Franklin Pierce University volleyball team rolled through Northeast-10 Conference opponent Saint Michael's College 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-15) during athletes backing athletes night in The Fieldhouse. The victory was the Ravens fifth overall and first in league play while the guests dropped their 11th match and sixth conference contest.
Garnhart has recorded her third game over the past six with 16 or more kills. She hit a season and career-high .600 in the duel. The .600 hitting percentage was tied for the 14th best during a single game in program history (minimum 10 kills). The last Raven to record a .600 hitting percentage during a duel was former teammate Hannah St. Jean on November 12, 2016, against Pace University. The team captain also led all players with three total blocks.
Teammate Sarah Roach (Provo, Utah) manufactured seven kills, six digs, and one service ace. Jocelyn Moody (Biddeford, Maine) chipped in four kills, a .400 hitting percentage, a team-best 12 digs, and two assists. Setter Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) dished out 30 assists, had 12 digs on defense, three kills and two total blocks.
As a team, the Ravens hit .348 in the showdown while out-blocking the Purple Knights 10-to-0.
A Roach kill and two Purple Knight attack errors gave the Ravens an 8-3 lead over the first couple of serves. Back-to-back mashes from freshmen Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) and Breanna Mineweaser (Honey Brook, Pa.) upped the Ravens edge to 13-5 midway through the set. Following three consecutive markers from the guests, Abigail Garnhart smacked a set from Pease into the middle of the court to push the Ravens ahead 19-11. Trailing 22-13, Saint Michael's rallied to pull within five, 23-18, but a Gabby Ratte service error and a Dolan kill from the right side concluded the first set.
Poor sets and service/receive mistakes dug the Ravens into a 9-1 hole in the second set. Roach rolled to the left pin and pulverized a set from Pease that clanked off a blockers hand and went out of play to cut the Raven deficit to three, 11-8. Kills by Dolan and Roach again paired with a Grace Fornabia attack miscue capped off the Raven 11-4 run to pull FPU within one 13-12. Holding a one-point lead, Saint Michael's built their advantage back to four, 18-14 via an Allie Statile kill.
Mineweaser manufactured a huge solo stuff clogging the middle of the net to bring the score to 20-19, Roach immediately deadlocked the set at 20-20 by rocking a kill from the right side. A Purple Knights attack error made the score 21-20 in favor of FPU. Saint Michael's took a timeout hoping to halt the growing Raven momentum. Pierce kept battling as Roach accounted for the next three points including a clutch ace that she dumped in right in front of Tanner Barton. The Ravens completed the huge second set comeback when Mineweaser killed off a middle set.
Franklin Pierce turned the tables in the third set as they were never really threatened by Saint Michael's. They held a 5-0 advantage after a Garnhart and Dolan block, two attack errors, an Addison Wright (Carmel, Ind.) ace, and a Moody kill. Their lead grew to 9-1 after another Garnhart point. A Raven ball handling error brought SMC within five until the Ravens closed the match with a 7-1 scoring spurt.
Allie Statile and Tanner Barton produced eight kills apiece for Saint Michael's in the loss.
The Ravens continue their three-game homestand this Friday when they take on conference foe Pace University at 6:00 p.m.
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/).