WILMINGTON, Del. (September 14, 2019) – After falling twice yesterday, the Franklin Pierce University volleyball team responded in a big way by sweeping their Saturday slate at the Wildcat Invitational besting Georgian Court University 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-6) and host Wilmington (Del.) University 3-1 (13-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-20). With the wins, the Ravens move to 5-3 on the year and match their entire 2018 win total. The losses send the Lions to 5-2 and the Wildcats to 5-3 in the seasons early stages.
Junior setter Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) represented the Ravens on the All-Tournament Team. Pease appeared in every match for the Ravens totaling 165 assists (9.74 a/s) to go along with 44 digs (2.59 dig/s) on the defensive side. She blocked 12 total attempts (0.35 blk/s), recorded seven aces and scored 12 kills for good measure.
Game One: Ravens 3, Lions 1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-6)
Freshman outside hitter Tessa Brandt (Foster, R.I.) was the offense for FPU recording a team-high 13 kills and 21 digs on the defensive end while hitting .294. Sophomore Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) chipped in nine kills, five digs, three blocks, and a .292 hitting percentage. Freshman Ingrid Lindstrom (Dudley, Mass.) had seven kills, seven digs, and a match-high five total blocks. Mary Pease dished off a game-best 37 assists and added six kills while shining on defense with the second-best dig total on the team (17).
For the Lions, Kinsy Haschke tallied a double-double with 16 kills and 15 digs and teammate Shana Rayside manufactured 10 kills of her own while hitting .375.
As a team, the Ravens had the far superior net presence blocking 13 total attacks compared to GCU's two. They also had the service ace (11-to-5) and hitting (.295-to-.172) advantage.
In the fourth and deciding set, the Ravens defensive unit limited the Lions to six points while the Pierce offense hit a contest-best .529 in match-clincher.
The Ravens led by three in the opening set after a Pease to Dolan connection. GCU tied the set 7-7 using a Kayla Wilson kill. FPU continued to hold a three-point edge until back-to-back Grace Fenn kills put the Lions ahead 20-18. Brandt gave the Ravens a short-lived one-point lead, however Georgian Court out produced Pierce 5-1 over the final serves to take the first set.
The second set saw the Lions hold an 8-4 advantage early on. Franklin Pierce took a 12-9 lead on the strength of an 8-1 burst capped off by a Pease floater kill. The Ravens would never trail the rest of the way with the Lions coming within two, 23-21, but they served the ball into the net and committed an attack error tying up the match 1-1.
Pierce fell behind early in the third set, but took a six-point advantage, 16-10 off an attack error. The Lions dropped the deficit to three, 17-14, however, the Ravens regained control and won the important third set by seven. The Crimson and Gray dominated the fourth set jumping ahead 15-3 and never looking back.
Game Two: Ravens 3, Wildcats 1 (13-25, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20)
Brandt again paced the squad in kills with 13 to go along with 15 digs and four aces. Dolan joined her in double figures with 10 kills. Freshman Mariah Robles (West Covina, Calif.) racked up eight kills, two digs and two blocks and Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had six kills, a match-high six blocks, and four digs. Mary Pease set up her teammates 43 times and libero Ellie Ivanova (Sofia, Bulgaria) notched a game-best 22 digs.
Mandy Behiels led all Wildcats with 13 kills and added 13 digs for good measure. Dorie Moore turned in 12 kills and five digs while hitting .500.
Wilmington came out firing on all levels hitting a blistering .591 in the first set. With the game deadlocked 2-2, the Wildcats went on a 10-3 run to lead 12-5 thanks to a Behiels ace. A Lindstrom kill put Pierce down by seven 15-8. Wilmington eventually doubled up the Ravens 22-11 before winning the first set 25-13.
FPU held a 5-2 edge in the second set off an attack error. Four straight points by Wilmington pushed them ahead 6-5. Wilmington increased their margin to 12-8 off an Angel Oliver kill until the Ravens came up with two straight points, a Garnhart kill and a Garnhart and Pease block to make it a 12-10 game. Trailing by four, 14-10, with Brandt serving, the Ravens reestablished the edge, 15-14 off two Brandt aces.
With the second set tied 23-23, Pease served the ball to a Wildcat who clanked it off the side of her forearm out of play putting Pierce two points away from the set clincher. Wilmington took a 24-23 lead after a timeout and then Garnhart and Dolan killed off two attempts combined with an attack miscue giving the Ravens the 26-24 set win.
Trailing by three, 8-5 in the important third set, a Lindstrom kill and an Ivanova ace cut their deficit to 8-7. Behind 12-10, the Ravens took a 15-13 advantage off the swing of Robles. Wilmington eventually jumped back in the driver's seat 22-20, but three straight kills by Robles, Dolan, and Pease gave the Crimson and Gray a 2-1 match lead.
In the fourth set, a Brandt ace pushed the Ravens ahead 5-1. Six in a row from Wilmington made it a 7-5 lead for the Wildcats. Their advantage grew to 10-6 off a Raven attack error. An 8-3 Raven run concluded by a Robles and Garnhart block put the Ravens back in front 14-13. The squads traded points until a Sarah Couch to Bailey Andrews connection put the hosts ahead 21-20. The Ravens ended the Wildcats hope of a comeback scoring the final four points to clinch the match.
The Ravens head back to Rindge and will host a tri-match next Saturday against Roberts Wesleyan College and Bentley University at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 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/).