JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State Buccaneer volleyball team defeated the Furman Paladins, 3-2 (30-18, 22-30, 28-30, 30-21, 15-13) in a thrilling Southern Conference match Friday night from Brooks Gym in Johnson City.
The Bucs (16-3, 11-3 SoCon) jumped out to an early lead in game one and cruised to a 30-18 victory.
Game two was almost a complete turnaround as the Paladins (12-9, 8-7) jumped out to a quick lead and comfortably won the second stanza, 30-22.
Game three was an exciting back-and-forth affair that truly went down to the wire. The two teams traded points early before the Bucs opened up a seemingly comfortable 14-10 lead. The Paladins then went on a 6-0 tear, taking a 16-14 advantage. The Paladins would widen their lead until ETSU would make a charge of their own to cut the Furman lead to 29-28. The Paladins would then take the next point to win the third game 30-28.
Game four was very similar to the first two as the Bucs would take a small lead, and expand it throughout to claim a 30-21 victory.
The decisive fifth game was a tense battle as the two teams again went down to the wire. The Bucs seemed to have closed out the match when they had a 14-10 lead late in the final game. The Paladins the won three straight points to again put the game in doubt. However, ETSU was able to close out the match 15-13.
The Bucs were led by senior setter Carey Cavanaugh (Munroe Falls, Ohio) who had a tremendous match. Cavanaugh had a season-high 62 assists, a match-high 19 digs and 10 kills. Six Buccaneers had double-digit kills on the evening, led by sophomore Lissa Allen's (Palm Bay, Fla.) team-high 17. Cavanaugh, Allen, Amber Ciskowski (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Karen Freeburg (Newcastle, Ind.) all registered double-doubles on the evening.
The Paladins were paced by junior outside hitter Abby Simon who had 17 kills and 13 assists. Junior middle blocker Laura Bush had a match-high 18 kills against just four hitting errors. Senior setter Laura Hooks led Furman with 47 assists.
The Bucs return to action on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Wofford from Brooks Gym for senior day and ETSU's last home match of the season.