Cullowhee, N.C. – Despite putting down 59 kills and holding Western Carolina to a .163 hitting percentage, Furman volleyball fell to the Catamounts, 3-1 (22-25, 22-25, 25-20, 17-25) on Friday night inside the Ramsey Center. The win moves the Catamounts to 8-8 on the year, 2-3 in SoCon play, while the loss drops the Paladins to 6-10, 2-3 in SoCon play.
Neci Harris led Furman with 13 kills on just two errors for a .458 hitting percentage and two blocks, while Jordan McNeill and Carris Campbell each added 13 kills. Campbell tallied a match-high six blocks, while Meg DeMaar totalied a match-high 25 digs. McNeill, Jamila Johnson, and Hunter Thompson each registered a double-double for the Paladins.
Western Carolina jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first set, before the Paladins used a 5-2 run to cut the lead to four at 13-9. The teams traded points until Furman used a 5-1 run to cut the lead to 16-15, forcing the Catamounts to call a timeout. The teams traded points until Furman used a WCU service error and a block by Carris Campbell to tie the set at 18. The teams traded two-point rallies until back-to-back points by the Catamounts forced the Paladins to take their final timeout of the set, trailing 23-21. Jamila Johnson picked up her fifth kill of the set to cut the lead to one at 23-22, but Western Carolina used back-to-back points to take set one, 25-22, for a 1-0 match lead.
Furman opened a 4-0 lead in the second set, before WCU rallied to take a 10-8 lead. The Paladins tied the set at 10, but the Catamounts used a 4-0 run to push the lead to 14-10, before Furman used a 4-1 run to cut the lead to one at 15-14. The Catamounts then used a 5-1 run of their own to open their largest lead of the set at 20-15, forcing the Paladins to call a timeout. The teams again traded two-point rallies, until Furman cut the lead to three at 23-20, then to two at 24-22, before the Catamounts got a kill to take set two, 25-22, for a 2-0 match lead.
The teams traded points early in the third set, before Western Carolina grabbed a 14-11 lead. The Paladins tied the set at 14, before the Catamounts pushed the lead back to two at 17-15. Furman then finally found some momentum in the match, using a 6-1 run capped off by three-straight blocks to take a 21-18 advantage. The Catamounts cut the lead to two at 21-19, but Furman got a kill from Carris Campbell and a WCU service error to push the lead to four at 23-19, then another kill by Campbell to grab set point at 24-19. Western Carolina pulled to within four at 24-20, but a kill by Jordan McNeill ended it for the Paladins at 25-20, cutting the Catamounts' match lead to 2-1.
Furman jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the fourth, but the Catamounts closed out the set with a 20-12 advantage, taking the fourth set 25-17, and the match, 3-1.
Western Carolina was led by Merry Gebel with 13 kills and 10 digs, while Meagan Sanchez tallied 17 digs.
Furman is back in action tomorrow night, taking on ETSU in Johnson City at 8:00 p.m.