After a tough loss Wednesday night to Spalding University (25-23, 20-25, 26- 24, 28-26) in a non-conference match, the Franklin College women’s volleyball team looks forward to this weekend’s final set of games.
“This season we lost a lot of seniors from last year that really had big impacts on the team, but we gained a lot of freshmen and we really needed them to step up in their roles and they definitely have,” sophomore Libby Stahl said. “Watching them do that and watching them grow over the season has really been wonderful.”
During Wednesday’s game, freshman Nico Morris led the Grizzlies with 21 assists and three serving aces. In addition, freshman Kennedy Surface registered eight kills on the night, while freshman Jenna Spini chipped in seven of her own.
“[College] was a big adjustment, but definitely having the team support and the coaches’ support all season long has really helped get us through the season and really just the year, in general,” Spini said. “We’re one big family on the team—if we mess up, someone will always be there to support us, whether academic or any other aspect of college, so that’s really beneficial to us freshmen.”
Stahl hit a record team-high of 25 digs, while junior Carrigan Peak had 10 digs. Morris added nine digs, while seniors Sarah Labra and Ashley Bazier each had eight digs during the match.
“There were a lot of changes to be made just because the line-up was going to be so different from last year,” Stahl said. “I think the beginning was a little rough, but now we really got our groove and I’m sad that the season is almost over because I think if we had just a couple more weeks we could really do some great things.”
The Grizzzlies will conclude their 2016 season this weekend with two home matches in the Spurlock Center.
“I’m excited to see how we go next year because I think this year, it wasn’t disappointing by any means. We did some really great things,” Stahl said. “We really hung in there with Hanover and Bluffton and it could have gone a completely different way. We had some really, really good moments.”
When looking toward the spring season, the time will be used for improving on the fundamentals and working better as a team, according to Stahl.
Prior to the 1 p.m. match against Defiance College, there will be a program to honor seniors Dena Dunn and Bazier during the team’s annual Senior Day.
“It’s the seniors’ last matches, so do it for them, support them. You know they’ve dedicated so much time in their careers that we owe it to them,” Spini said, encouraging fans to come out and support the team tomorrow.
After the team’s final Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game, Franklin will also host Kenyon College.