RINDGE, N.H. (September 21, 2019) – Nine games into their 2019 season, the Franklin Pierce University volleyball program has already bested their 2018 win total after defeating non-conference opponent Roberts Wesleyan College 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) in the first game of their tri-match Saturday at The Fieldhouse during homecoming weekend. FPU, however, dropped their last game, a non-league bout with Northeast-10 Conference opponent Bentley University 3-0 (14-25, 20-25, 22-25). The split sends the crimson and gray to 6-4 on the year while the Red Hawks remain winless and the Falcons move to 7-4.
Game One: Ravens 3, Red Hawks (25-22, 25-21, 25-19)
No Raven recorded double-digit kills in the sweep, but freshman outside hitter Tessa Brandt (Foster, R.I.) paced the home team with nine kills, three digs, three assists, and two blocks. Classmate Ingrid Lindstrom (Dudley, Mass.) tallied seven kills, and a contest high six total blocks. Senior middle hitter Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) chipped in seven kills, a .333 hitting percentage, and three aces while setter Mary Pease (East Haddam, Conn.) notched 28 assists, five kills, four digs, and two blocks.
The Red Hawks were led by Kathryn Krchniak's nine kills and six digs. Amanda Greenwood chipped in seven kills and two blocks.
Pierce hit a contest high .333 in the opening set. RWC jumped ahead 10-6 on the strength of a Greenwood kill. FPU rallied to deadlock the set 10-10 when Pease fed Garnhart for a middle mash. Lindstrom smoked the ball from her middle position to put Pierce ahead 14-12. The teams traded points back and forth as the game was tied 22-22 late. Cierra Dolan (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) broke the tie and the combination of Pease and Lindstrom won the set converting a dual block.
In the second set, the Red Hawks jumped ahead 12-9 thanks to a few Raven miscues. Three straight markers for the Ravens tied the game. FPU moved back in front 16-14 following a Garnhart service ace. Sophomore defensive specialist Addison Wright (Carmel, Ind.) checked into the game and made an immediate impact serving, dumping an ace into no man's land which was coupled with a Lindstrom kill to up the Raven edge to 20-15. Roberts Wesleyan slowly chipped away, but Brandt ended any hopes of a comeback with the set clinching kill.
FPU was challenged early in the third set before building a 17-12 lead. Three consecutive points dropped the Raven margin to 17-15. A Lindstrom stuff upped the lead to 21-16 and three straight Raven kills wrapped up the sweep in straight sets.
Game Two: Falcons 3, Ravens 0 (14-25, 20-25, 22-25)
Freshman right side Mariah Robles (West Covina, Calif.) had a game-high 10 kills in the match versus Bentley. Dolan produced five kills and one block while Pease handed out 16 assists and a game-high 11 digs on defense. Junior libero Ellie Ivanova (Sofia, Bulgaria) joined Pease in double-digits with 10 digs.
For the Falcons, Dani Milner and Shannon Ngo had 10 kills apiece with Ngo hitting .471 and blocking three kill attempts.
In the first set, Bentley hit .343 and held a 10 point, 17-7 edge off a Rachel Bruno kill. Their lead expanded to 22-10 at one point before the set ended at 25-14.
Pierce started slowly in the second set falling in an early 4-0 hole. They eventually pulled within one point, 10-9 when Kennedy Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) fed her classmate Dolan for a kill on the right side. A ball-handling error on FPU pushed the Falcon margin to 18-14, however, an Ivanova to freshman outside hitter Britney Loyd (Coppell, Texas) connection made it a two-point 22-20 game. Three straight by Bentley put them in a commanding 2-0 match lead.
The third set had a couple of ties and the Ravens even took a late 19-18 lead thanks to a Loyd ace. After the ace, the Falcons outscored the Ravens 5-1 to lead 23-20. Ingrid Murphy eventually ended match converting the set point.
The Ravens open up Northeast-10 Conference play on Tuesday when they travel to Saint Michael's College for a 7:00 p.m. first serve.
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/).