Ravens Rally Late to Close Out Season With 3-1 Senior Day Victory

Ravens Rally Late to Close Out Season With 3-1 Senior Day Victory


RINDGE, N.H. (November 11, 2017) – The Franklin Pierce University volleyball 2017 season came to an end Saturday afternoon as the Ravens came from behind down 1-0 to defeat Northeast-10 Conference opponent the College of Saint Rose 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-18, 31-29) on Senior Day in the Fieldhouse. With the win, the Crimson and Grey conclude their year at 8-17 overall and 6-8 NE10 and the loss sends the Golden Knights to 12-17, 3-11 NE10.

Seniors Hannah Runge (Deltona, Fla.) and Hannah St. Jean (Olympia, Wash.) were honored in a pregame ceremony for their contributions to the team, athletic department and the Franklin Pierce University community. Playing in their final career contest they each contributed to the Ravens victory. Runge handed out a team-best 43 assists and added five kills, 13 digs, and two total blocks. St. Jean racked up nine kills and three blocks.

Other Ravens also added to the victory. Freshman outside hitter Ofeira Petaia (Honolulu, Hawaii) recorded a career-high 14 kills and tallied 15 digs on the defensive side to go along with a .312 hitting percentage. Teammate and middle hitter Abigail Garnhart (Colorado Springs, Colo.) produced a personal-best 12 kills. Freshman Sam Bitner (Titusville, Fla.) chipped in eight kills and a match-best five blocks while Brittney Carias (Burlingame, Calif.) produced a game-high four service aces.  

For the Yellow and Black, sophomore outside hitter Stevie Schweitzer recorded 14 kills, six digs, and two aces. Two other players Shayna Webber and Graciela Cruz manufactured double-digit kills in the setback. Franklin Pierce held the advantage at the nets (15 blocks to 5) and at the service line (9 aces to 5).

Saint Rose started the contest by using a 5-1 run as a Bitner attack error pushed the guests ahead by four in the early going. Franklin Pierce notched three straight points using two Petaia kills and a Carias ace that grazed off a diving Golden Knights players arm to tie the set at eight all. Trailing 11-9, Pierce once again notched three consecutive markers to move ahead for the first time 12-11. The Raven lead was short lived as Saint Rose jumped in front 23-14 on the strength of an 11-2 outburst that pushed the guests on the heels of a first set victory. Schweitzer ended the set by successfully killing off an attempt set up by teammate Sam Kubik.

The Ravens matched the Golden Knights 5-1 start with one of their own to open the second set. The guests tied the game at seven all following a kill and two Raven attack errors. FPU regained the advantage as Bitner and Garnhart combined for a dual block to push the home team back ahead by one. No team led by more than two until Bitner and Carias helped the Ravens achieve a three point lead at 19-16 as they stuffed an attempted kill from Shayna Webber. FPU's advantage hovered around three before St. Jean and Runge teamed up for a match-tying and set-ending kill.

Franklin Pierce charged ahead 8-4 in the early going as Runge placed a serve near Maddy Halverson who could not successfully dig the ball. Franklin Pierce hung on to the lead until three in a row by the guests knotted the score at 14 apiece. Pierce remained in the driver's seat by one, 19-18 and ended the set with six straight markers coming from Bitner, Petaia, St. Jean, Runge and Carias as the Ravens took the important third set 25-18.

In the final set, the Golden Knights led 11-4 before the Ravens tied the set up notching an 8-1 scoring binge which was capped off by a Bitner kill. The Ravens stayed ahead midway through the set until four in a row by Saint Rose regained momentum to their side at 21-18. Two Bitner kills and a Carias ace tied the set at 21 all. The teams traded possessions as Petaia put the Ravens on the brink of set point at 24-23. The fourth set headed to extra serves as a Raven attack error gave the guests new life.

Petaia once again pushed the Ravens ahead by one, 25-24 as FPU only needed one more point to close the season out with a victory. A Raven miscue and a Schweitzer kill moved the Golden Knights ahead by one. Franklin Pierce remained in the match as Carias tied the set with a kill assisted by Runge. Schweitzer pushed her squads' advantage to one by notching her second straight kill. Franklin Pierce tallied the next two points off a kill from Garnhart and dual block by Bitner and Runge as FPU led by one 28-27. Saint Rose controlled the pace of the game with two straight serves, which led to points for the Golden Knights as Schwitzer tallied her third marker in a row and a Raven attack error put the guests on the edge of victory at 29-28. The Ravens hung tough and recorded the final three points as they ended the match with a 31-29 fourth set victory.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). 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 volleyball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).