FRANKLIN, IND. - The Defiance College volleyball hit the road for their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match of the season on Tuesday evening. The Yellow Jackets battled in a nail-biter with the Grizzlies but fell just short, 3-2 (15-25, 25-20, 25-13, 23-25, 9-15).
Defiance (2-12 overall) tallied 52 kills in the match with a .180 hitting percentage. Leading the offensive charge for the Purple and Gold was freshman Delaney Monnin (Defiance / Tinora) adding 15 to kills to her 110 on the season. Sophomore Morgan Porter (Defiance / Defiance) led the team in digs, contributing 35.
In the first set Defiance found themselves battling early with the Grizzlies to gain control of the lead. Both sides looked poised to win the opening set as the race to 25 points heated up. A pair of kills from Emma Seitz (Toledo / Central Catholic and Cassidy Posey (Paulding / Paulding) saw the Yellow Jackets battle back to a 15-18 defecit. From there, the Grizzlies gained control with the help of a handful of aces and took the opening set 25-15.
Head Coach Brie Brenner's squad quickly rallied in the changeover, blowing open a 7-0 lead to start the second set. The Grizzlies were able to earn a few points before a handful of kills from Marissa Windau (Castalia / Margaretta) extended the Defiance lead to 13-4. Franklin did battle back to within four, but the Defiance side prevailed 25-20.
The third set saw a back and forth affair to begin before Defiance opened up play with 10 point run to take a 15-5 lead. Monnin's five kills during the 10 point stretch solidified the Yellow Jacket lead, allowing the visitors to prevail in the set 25-13.
The fourth set proved a challenge for both sides as no lead grew greater than four points. After trailing 23-22, a set from Brianna Wheeler (Sturgis, Mich. / Sturgis) allowed Abigail Kennedy (Harrod / Allen East) to earn the kill to knot the sides at 23-23. Taking advantage of an error and a kill, Franklin was able to earn a decisive next two points to take the set 25-23.
With both sides looking for the victory, it came down to a decisive fifth set. After a kill by Jessi Davis (Delta / Delta) answered Franklin's first point of the set, the Grizzlies pulled away to a lead and never looked back.The Yellow Jackets battled to keep the deficit within a few points, ultimately falling by a score of 15-9, giving the Grizzlies the 3-2 victory.
Defiance returns to action Saturday, Sept. 29th as they travel to Adrian (Mich.) for a 1:00 pm start time.