Volleyball Takes Defending CC Champion to Fifth Set

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soccer, field hockey

Nikki Dickson
In addition to her 31 assists, Dickson recorded 12 digs for her fourth double-double.
For the second time in three weeks, the Muhlenberg volleyball team pushed one of the elite squads in the Centennial Conference to the limit. And for the second time, the Mules came away with a loss that was both heartbreaking because of the result and uplifting because of the progress it showed in the team.

This time, the opponent was defending CC champion Franklin & Marshall. Muhlenberg came back from a 2-0 deficit in sets to tie and a 7-3 deficit in the fifth set to take a lead, but the Diplomats eventually pulled it out, 15-13.

Two weeks ago, the Mules threatened to end Haverford’s 29-match CC regular-season winning before falling in the fifth set, 15-12.

Muhlenberg hasn’t beaten F&M (11-8, 6-1) since 2003, and it didn’t look like there would be any chance of that happening after the Diplomats closed out the first set on a 16-3 run to win 25-18, then led comfortably throughout in winning the second set, 25-20.

In the third set, however, the Mules took an early lead by scoring four straight points on the serve of sophomore Erica Wenzel and held on the whole way to win, 25-21.

Muhlenberg (6-13, 4-3) grabbed a 15-9 lead at the start of the fourth, but F&M came back to tie at 16-all. The back-and-forth set was tied at 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22 before the Mules finally broke away on two Diplomat attack errors and a set-ending kill by freshman Lindsey Gambocurta.

F&M opened the fifth and deciding set with a 7-3 lead. After a Muhlenberg timeout, senior Brooke McQueen put down one of her team-leading 11 kills to kick off a startling 7-0 run that gave the Mules a 10-7 lead. Senior Davi Gordon, returning from injury to play for the first time in almost a month, had two of her nine kills in the run.

The Diplomats came back, however, tied the set at 11, and went on to win, 15-13.

Gordon had 5 blocks to go along with her 9 kills. Freshman Nikki Dickson recorded a career-high 31 assists, and freshman Alyssa Schell pulled up 23 digs.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.