NEW HAVEN, CONN. (October 26, 2019) – Franklin Pierce University volleyball freshman right side hitter Mariah Robles (West Covina, Calif.) established a new career-high with 18 kills as the crimson and grey concluded a six-game losing streak with a dominant 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-11) win against Northeast-10 Conference opponent Southern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon in the Pelz Gymnasium. With the win, the Ravens improve to 8-10, 2-5 NE10 while the Owls slide to 9-13, 2-4 NE10.
Robles easily bested her career-high mark of 11 set earlier in the week on the road at American International. The newcomer hit a career-high .366 as well with five digs on defense and one block assist. She was one of three Ravens to record double-digit kills. The middle hitter duo of freshman Ingrid Lindstrom (Dudley, Mass.) and senior Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tallied 13 and 10 kills respectively. Lindstrom, who ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage, hit .323 in the match while Garnhart swung at a .300 clip. At the net, Lindstrom netted one solo block and two block assists.
On the defensive side for Pierce, three athletes recorded 20 or more digs. Libero Ellie Ivanova (Sofia, Bulgaria) had a team-high 28 digs and it marked the fourth straight game she tallied 20 digs or more. Freshman outside hitter Tessa Brandt (Foster, R.I.) racked up a new personal-best with 25 digs of her own.
Senior Jocelyn Moody (Biddeford, Maine) had 21 digs which gives her 926 for her career. Moody needs only 74 more digs over the final six games to become the ninth member of the program's 1,000 dig club.
For the hosts, Ella White had a team-high 14 kills and hit .314 in the match. Abigail Epstein chipped in 12 kills while hitting .323. Southern Connecticut struggled with errors in the match having 25 attack errors, seven reception errors, three service errors and one blocking error which was all less than FPU.
The Ravens notched the opening three points of the contest to lead 3-0 off a Garnhart middle strike and two Owl attack errors. Two in a row by the hosts pulled them within one, but Pierce rolled to five straight points to lead 7-2 in the early stages. Robles dropped in an ace to expand the margin to 9-3 forcing SCSU into a timeout. Out of the timeout, a bad set by Epstein put it at 10-3. Southern Connecticut tallied five consecutive points, three kills, an ace, and a block to pull within two, 10-8.
Back-to-back kill off the swing of freshman Britney Loyd (Coppell, Texas) and Brandt put the Ravens ahead 12-8. The Owls then went on a 6-1 binge to take their first lead 14-13 via an Epstein kill. After a Raven timeout, SCSU tacked on two more points to expand their advantage to 16-13. Two kills from Garnhart and Brandt put the Ravens within one once again, 16-15. Trailing by four, a Robles kill, two Brandt aces and a bad set deadlocked the score 19-19. SCSU held the Ravens to only two more points as they won the first set 25-21.
Pierce started off hot in the second set jumping out to a 6-2 lead off the strength of two kills and a Lindstrom solo stuff. In the middle portion of the set, the crimson and grey's edge grew to seven, 15-8 off three straight markers, a Robles kill, an attack error, and another Brandt ace. Four in a row by the hosts made it 15-12 battle. Kills by Robles and Lindstrom, reestablished an 18-13 margin for the guests. Garnhart put her squad within three points of a second set victory at 22-16. Four consecutive kills, two from Kirstin Colwell dropped the Raven margin to two, 22-20.
Coach Dragan called a timeout and drew up a left side play for Brandt who put away the attempt. An attack error coupled with a Garnhart block wrapped up the second set win for the Ravens, 25-21.
FPU demolished the Owls in the third and fourth sets to clinch the win. The Owls hit .044 in the third set and .000 in the fourth set with a combined 13 kills total in both. The Ravens, on the other hand, had 32 combined kills and hit .256 in the third set and .371 in the clincher. Trailing 11-9 in the third set, Pierce moved ahead 16-12 off a bad set and an attack error. SCSU pulled within two, 17-15, but the Ravens notched the final eight points to win 25-15. With the last set tied 8-8 Pierce held the hosts to only three more points as a 15-1 run put them in the driver's seat.
Franklin Pierce looks to keep the good vibes going next Friday, November 1st for the first game of a two-game home swing versus the College of Saint Rose at 7:00 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://www.shopfpuravens.com) You can also follow the volleyball program on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensVB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpuravensvb/).