GREENVILLE, S.C. (Oct. 10, 2014) – For the second time this season, the Furman volleyball team swept past ETSU as the Paladins completed the season sweep with a 3-0 win (18-25, 21-25, 16-25) over the Blue and Gold on Friday night inside Alley Gym.
Senior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Bucs with 12 kills (.455 attack percentage) and four blocks, but ETSU couldn’t stop the trio of Andrea Fisher, Ashton Gregory and Annie Bierman. The Furman threesome combined for 35 of its 51 kills and combined to hit .397 (35-6-73). Fisher finished with 11 kills and eight digs, while Gregory and Bierman totaled 12 kills each. Gregory also added five blocks and Bierman totaled nine digs and two service aces. In addition, junior setter Jo Wilks bagged a double-double after posting 38 assists and 11 digs.
As a team, Furman hit .355 (51-12-110), compared to ETSU’s .214 (34-13-98) clip, while the Blue and Gold out-blocked the Paladins, 7-5.
In a match where the teams combined for nine straight wins entering the night, the Bucs saw their four-game win streak come to an end. With the setback, ETSU dipped to 8-12, 2-2 in SoCon play, while Furman extended its win streak to six straight and moved to 12-4, 5-0.
The Bucs couldn’t slow down Furman’s offense late in the opening set as the Paladins won the frame, 25-18. Furman hit .324 and were plus-7 in kills (17-10) in the set, while Amelia Bohlander (6-0-8), Bierman (4-1-7) and Joseph (3-0-3) combined to hit .667 (13-1-18). The early stages of the set were tightly contested, but with ETSU holding a 13-11 lead at the midway point, Furman closed out the stanza on a 14-5 run to pull out the comeback win.
The Blue and Gold won four of the first five points of the second set, but ETSU couldn’t sustain the run as Furman rallied for a 25-21 win to go up 2-0 in the match. Bethany Gesell (High Point, N.C.) and Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) fueled the early spurt, but with the Bucs leading 9-8, the Paladins rattled off four consecutive scores to go ahead, 12-9, forcing ETSU to call timeout. Furman wouldn’t relinquish its lead and eventually built a five-point advantage when a kill by Joseph made it an 18-13 score. The Bucs pulled within two points on four different possessions, but the Paladins won the final two points of the frame to hold on for a four-point victory. Both offenses were firing on all cylinders in the frame as ETSU hit .424 (16-2-33), while Furman posted a .500 attack percentage (17-1-32).
Unfortunately, the storyline continued after intermission as ETSU controlled the tempo midway through the third set, but Furman used a 15-3 run to close out the frame and capped off the sweep with a 25-16 victory. Sophomore setter Kristen Favre (Plano, Texas) recorded back-to-back service aces and Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) followed that up with a block, giving the Blue and Gold their three-point lead; however, the Paladins grabbed momentum by winning six straight points to up, 16-13. The Bucs never responded from the surge and with Furman ahead, 21-16, the Paladins won the final four points to end the match.
Favre finished with 33 of ETSU’s 34 assists and also registered seven digs and two service aces. Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Muey both ended with 12 digs for the Blue and Gold.
The Bucs have a quick turnaround as ETSU heads to Cullowhee, N.C. for a conference match at Western Carolina on Saturday. First serve is set for noon inside the Ramsey Center.
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