Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sarah Franklin cements herself among best freshmen in Big Ten

February 17, 2021
<p>Freshman outside hitter Sarah Franklin attempts to spike the ball over two pairs of Ohio State hands during the Spartans&#x27; 3-0 loss to Ohio State on Jan. 31, 2021.</p>

Freshman outside hitter Sarah Franklin attempts to spike the ball over two pairs of Ohio State hands during the Spartans' 3-0 loss to Ohio State on Jan. 31, 2021.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

Before becoming a freshman at Michigan State, Sarah Franklin was recruited by Head Coach Cathy George. Their paths crossed at a tournament in Atlanta, where George was watching commit Naya Gros play when Franklin caught her eye.

“So I left, and I was watching her, and then watched her again, watched her again and started talking to her coaches," George said. "But her versatility was just phenomenal." 

It became a natural fit. Now, the dividends of her decision to commit are producing results in between the lines.

And after leading the Michigan State volleyball team in almost every match this season, Franklin has now been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, which was announced by the conference on Feb. 15.

“Stepping on the court from day one with this team, it feels so right," Franklin said. "Being on the court with all these girls, I absolutely love it. Every moment I enjoy so much." 

Throughout the season Franklin has shown her versatility and skill level from her very first match playing in the Big Ten. 

Even in her first match of the season as a freshman, Franklin had 11 kills and has done nothing but progress over the course of the season. 

She has been MSU’s front-runner in kills for five of the six past matches and has had double-digit kills in each of those contests. Pertaining to attempts, Franklin ranks third in the Big Ten and 28th nationally with 11.77 per set. She averages 3.82 kills, seventh best in the Big Ten.

“Individually, I've been working on getting my shots in and some consistent hits … and the little things of hitting the pressure situations and being able to perform in those types, which I think improved in the Maryland games,” Franklin said.

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In their first win of the season over Maryland this past weekend, Franklin managed 16 kills and had 11 digs with her second career double-double Friday. For Saturday’s performance, she put down 20 kills, three blocks and three aces with a .395 hitting percentage. 

“I thought the team kind of came together really well this weekend, and that kind of helped push me to get that accolade … and I’m very honored to have that award,” Franklin said. 

Franklin looks forward to Wednesday’s matchup against Michigan, her first experience against MSU’s in-state rival. 

“I’m super excited to see us all come out against Michigan, and kill the ball," she said.

The Spartans will face off against the Wolverines at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17 before taking on Wisconsin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

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