F&M volleyball celebrates many years of strong competition

BY DANIELLE D’AMICO ’15
Contributing Writer

The F&M volleyball team currently leads the Centennial Conference with a 7-1 conference record, and a 15-13 overall record.

Over homecoming weekend the Dips had two games, one conference (Washington College) and one non-conference (St. Mary’s). The team honored its seven seniors at their last collegiate home match against St. Mary’s; Heather Letzkus ’13, Candice Tussing ’13, Elise Gilchrist ’13, Jian Lipowcan ’13, Kerry Rom ’13, Sydney Seydel ’13, and Caitlin Krutsick ’13. The Diplomats swept Washington College 3-0, but fell to St. Mary’s, 3-2.

In their senior game against St. Mary’s, Krutsick led the team with 42 assists. Lipowcan and Rom cleaned up on defense with 20 and 18 digs,
respectively. Seydel and Tussing dominated the offense with Seydel earning 16 kills and Tussing contributing nine aces. Gilchrist and Tussing also made an impact on defense with three blocks each. Letzkus made a presence with five kills. Set scores were 25-13 Dips, 25-18 Seahawks, 25-22 Seahawks, 25-20 Dips, and finally a 15-11 Seahawks upset.

After the frustrating loss for F&M seniors, they managed to hold their heads high.

Assistant coach Jessica Poucel ’12 said, “The most important thing about the day is that we beat Washington College and continue our winning streak within the conference.”

In the earlier game against Washington College, younger players made their mark on the court. Caroline Hubbard ’15 led F&M with 39 assists and Julie Harvey ’15 with eight kills and three blocks. Rosalie Frank ’16 also helped run the offense with eight kills of her own. The first set ended at 25-17, the second at 25-12, and the third at 25-20, in favor of the Diplomats. Clearly this was a game that the Dips had under control, dominating Washington 3-0.

Later that night, a celebration for the 40th anniversary of the Women’s Volleyball program at Franklin & Marshall College was held in the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center.

Alumni of the sport such as Wanda Major ’76 and her teammates came back to support their fellow Diplomats during the two games and then enjoy a tasteful dinner with family and friends. Four athletes representing each decade of F&M volleyball presented speeches about the impact this program has made on their personal lives.

One of the speakers was recent graduate and All-American, Nicole Morano ’11. Senior co-captains Rom and Gilchrist also presented a speech about the importance of “F&Mily” and how this program is more than just a collegiate sport.

The turnout of alumni, family, and friends was a spectacular reflection on the commitment and dedication these athletes have given over the past fourty years to the volleyball program.

There was also a Hall of Fame inductee from the program, Jenn Power ’97. Power was named to the a member of the All-Centennial Conference First Team three years in a row. In 1996, she was named Centennial Conference Player of the Year, and a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and All-Mid Atlantic Region First Team selection. Over the 40 years of F&M volleyball, she is certainly one of F&M’s finest.

The Diplomats will face Gettysburg College Wednesday Oct. 24, followed by Dickinson College Saturday Oct. 27. If all goes well for the Dips, they will be locked in to host the Centennial Conference playoffs, here in Lancaster, PA.

Questions? Email Danielle at ddamico@fandm.edu.

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