Charleston, S.C. – Behind 20 kills from Mellanie King, The Citadel erased a fourth-set deficit and used the momentum to take the fifth set, 15-12, downing the Paladins 3-2 on Friday night inside McAlister Fieldhouse. The win moves the Bulldogs to 9-13 on the year, 4-7 in SoCon play, while the loss drops the Paladins to 9-13, 5-6 in SoCon play.
Courtney Hoffman, Jordan McNeill, and Carris Campbell each put down 12 kills, while Hunter Thompson dished out 47 assists and tallied 16 digs for a double-double. Thompson also added a match-high five aces, while Meg DeMaar, Madison Gresham, and Lydia Morris each added two. DeMaar turned in a team-high 25 digs, while Jamila Johnson added 20. McNeill tallied 17 digs on the day for the Paladins' second double-double. Morris also added a team-high six blocks on the night.
The teams traded points early in the first, until Meg DeMaar served Furman on a 7-0 run to give the Paladins a 14-8 advantage. The Paladins pushed the lead to seven at 23-16, before the Bulldogs used a 4-1 run to pull withing four at 24-20. Furman got a kill from Lydia Morris, however, to take the first set, 25-20, for a 1-0 match lead.
The Citadel grabbed a four-point lead in the second and kept the Paladins at bay until Furman called a timeout trailing 18-14. The Bulldogs continued to hold the lead, taking set two 25-20 to tie the match at one.
Hunter Thompson served Furman on a 4-0 run early in the third to open a seven-point advantage for the Paladins at 13-6. A service ace by Madison Gresham gave the Paladins a nine-point lead at 17-8, but the Bulldogs would cut the lead to four at 20-16. Furman grabbed set point at 24-17, then used an ace by Lydia Morris to take set three, 25-17, for a 2-1 match lead.
Furman opened an eight-point lead in the fourth at 19-11, but The Citadel continued to chip away, cutting the lead to two at 22-20 and forcing a Paladin timeout. The Paladins grabbed match point at 24-22, but the Bulldogs ended the improbable comeback with a 4-0 run to close out the fourth set 26-24 and force a deciding fifth.
The Citadel opened an early 6-3 lead in the fifth, before the Paladins rallied to tie it at 7-7. The teams traded points until the Bulldogs used a 3-0 run to take a 12-9 advantage. Furman tied the set at 12, but The Citadel closed out the match with three-straight points, taking it 15-12, and the match, 3-2.
The Bulldogs were led by Mellanie King with 20 kills, while Sharlissa De Jesus added 16.
Furman is back in action tomorrow, October 27, taking on Mercer at 3:00 p.m. in Macon, Ga.