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Volleyball Drops Tri-Match at Franklin & Marshall

Natalie Pisch
Natalie Pisch

LANCASTER, Pa. – The Haverford College volleyball team dropped a pair of matches on Saturday, falling in five sets to conference foe Franklin & Marshall and in four sets to Moravian at the Mayser Center in Lancaster. Natalie Pisch (21 kills, 18 digs) and Claire Nicholas (17 kills, 20 digs) each registered a double-double in the loss to the Diplomats while Sara Matsumura posted her first career double-double with a career-best 10 kills to go with 24 digs against Moravian. The Fords sit at 9-6 (0-2 CC) at the end of the day of action.

Franklin & Marshall 3, Haverford 2

In their first Centennial Conference road action, the Fords sprinted out to a first set victory. After the Diplomats cut the early lead to just one at 11-10, the Fords pulled out to a 19-12 lead behind strong attacking from Pisch and great passing from setter Zoe Wong. The Diplomats made things closer with a 5-0 run, but Haverford pulled to a 25-21 win behind a .310 hitting percentage, limiting Franklin & Marshall to just .158 in the stanza. 

In the second set, Haverford turned a 6-6 tie into an 11-7 advantage, leading to an early Franklin & Marshall timeout. The Fords maintained a four-point lead as late as 18-14 before F&M was able to close the gap at 18-17, as Gabby Mavroidis contributed a service ace to pull the Diplomats within one. The Fords called for timeout and were able to stay in the lead throughout the remainder of the set, extending the cushion to three and earning set point with a Nicholas kill at 24-21 and going up 2-0 in the match off a Franklin & Marshall attack error.

The Fords struggled for offensive consistency in the third set, making 12 errors to just two for the Diplomats, falling 25-14.

The fourth set was tied at 15-15 before a 6-0 Diplomats run. The Fords battled back with Pisch and Sydney Miller each finding the floor for kills before an error by F&M made it a one point game at 20-21. From that point on, F&M took control with a 4-1 stretch to force a fifth set. 

The fifth set got away from the Fords early as the Diplomats looked poised and ready to complete the comeback. An 11-2 run was too much for Haverford to handle as the hosts cruised to seal a win a 15-5 set victory.

Four Fords had double-digit digs in the match, with Matsumura tallying 35, just three off her career high set on Sep. 20 against Muhlenberg. Pisch and Nicholas came up big, with double-double efforts.  Zoe Wong had 36 assists and seven digs. Nicholas registered three service aces. 

Delaney Hahn led the way with 16 kills to go with 16 digs for Franklin & Marshall. Four Diplomats had double-digit kills while Grace Maggiore had 47 assists and Mavrodis had 30 digs.

Moravian 3, Haverford 1

As in the first match of the day, the Fords took a 1-0 lead over Moravian, taking advantage of 11 attack errors from the Greyhounds. Moravian took an early 11-7 lead but Haverford rallied to take a 15-13 lead, a stretch that included a combo block from Pisch and Julia Gallagher-Teske, leading to a Moravian timeout.  The Fords pulled ahead by four at 19-15, but Moravian tied it again at 19-19. From there, the Fords took command with a 4-0 run, going ahead 23-19 on a service ace from Wong and taking advantage of a ball handling error to clinch the set at 25-20.

Moravian regrouped in the second set, taking the early 12-8 lead and extending the advantage to 20-14, never allowing Haverford to get closer than four from that point on.

The third set saw Haverford fall behind 8-2 before battling back to tie it at 11-11. Moravian regained momentum to go ahead 17-12 and turned the tide on the Fords after Haverford seemed to be back in the swing of things at just 19-17. With Erin Tiger at the service line, Moravian went on a 5-0 run to put the set out of reach and take a 25-18 victory.

Haverford started on a 5-0 run in the fourth set and looked to be in good position to send things into a fifth and deciding set. Moravian called timeout down by five and tied the score at 13-13 with back-to-back kills from Tiger. Haverford tied it again at 15-15 following an error by Madi Anslow, but Moravian would not surrender the lead again, growing the advantage to four with a Mary Zacher service ace and turning away a Matsumura attack attempt with a block from Jackie Finnegan and Anslow for a 21-16 lead. A block from Tiger and Kusmider made it a 23-19 game and Tiger put the Greyhounds on the brink at 24-19. An attack error sealed the match for Moravian at 25-20.

Pisch led the way for the Fords with 14 kills. Matsumura had 24 digs in her first match started of the season. Wong contributed 25 assists while Sydney Miller had a career-best 14 helpers. 

Moravian was paced by Tiger (19 kills) while Victoria Kauffman had 37 assists. Four Greyhounds had double-digit dig totals.

Haverford will next play host to Johns Hopkins on Saturday, September 30. The match is slated to begin at noon.