Macon, Ga. – Behind 16 kills from Christen Sikora, the Paladins rallied from a 1-0 deficit to down Mercer, 3-1 (12-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-14) on Friday night. The win moves the Paladins to 13-7 on the year and 7-0 in SoCon play, while the loss drops the Bears to 7-12 and 2-5 in SoCon play.
Sikora came off the bench in the first set to provide the spark the Paladins needed to complete the comeback. The Southlake, Texas, native turned in a .389 hitting percentage along with her 16 kills to lead the Paladins on offense. Jamila Johnson added 10 kills and 16 digs on the night, while Hunter Thompson added a team-high 17 digs and 31 assists. The Paladins responded after hitting under .200 in sets one and two to hit over .200 in set three and .500 in set four.
After Mercer came out with all the momentum in set one, the teams traded points in set two until the Paladins, down 22-19, finished the set on a 6-1 run to take set two, 25-23, and tie the match at one.
Furman opened up an early 5-2 lead in set three that it would never surrender, although at set point at 24-17, Mercer used four-straight points to cut the lead to 24-21. The Paladins capitalized on a Bears' error to take set three, 25-21. Furman opened a seven-point lead at 17-10 in the fourth set, before using a 4-0 run to take a 23-13 advantage. The Bears ended the run at 23-14, but a kill by Courtney Hoffman and a Mercer error gave the Paladins the 25-14 set win and 3-1 match victory.
Furman is back in action on Saturday night, taking on Samford in Birmingham, Ala., at 8:00 p.m. (ET).