Greenville, S.C. – Behind 19 kills from Leah Clayton and AJ Lux, ETSU downed Furman, 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 24-26, 23-25) on Friday night inside Alley Gym. The win moves the Bucs to 23-5 on the year, 12-1 in SoCon play, while the loss drops the Paladins to 10-14, 6-7 in SoCon play.
Jordan McNeill paced the Paladins with 18 kills to go with 15 digs, while Courtney Hoffman added 12 kills. Jamila Johnson totaled a career-high 24 digs to lead all players, in addition to 11 kills and four blocks, followed by Meg DeMaar with 19 digs. Hunter Thompson turned in a double-double for the Paladins with 41 assists and 13 digs. Furman out-blocked the Bucs 11.5-11.0, paced by Carris Campbell, Neci Harris and Jamila Johnson with four each.
ETSU jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first set, forcing the Paladins to call a timeout. The Bucs continued to add to the lead until Furman used three-straight points to cut the lead back to seven at 21-14. The Bucs grabbed set point at 24-14, but Lydia Morris served the Paladins on a 3-0 run to cut the lead back to seven at 24-17 and force the Bucs to call a timeout. ETSU held off the Paladin rally, however, taking the first set 25-17 for a 1-0 lead.
The teams traded points early in the second, until ETSU used three-straight points to open a 12-9 lead and force the Paladins to take a timeout. The teams traded three-point runs until Furman cut the ETSU lead to 17-16, but the Bucs used another 3-0 run to open a four-point advantage at 20-16 and prompt the Paladins to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Paladins used a 7-1 to open a 23-21 lead and force the Bucs to call a timeout. The Bucs used three-straight points to take a 24-23 lead, but the Paladins got back-to-back kills and a block by Carris Campbell to take the second, 26-24, to tie the match at one.
Furman and ETSU again traded points early in the third, until Furman grabbed a 14-13 lead. ETSU then used a 5-1 run to take an 18-15 lead and force the Paladins to call a timeout. The Paladins railed to tie the set at 19, then the teams traded points until ETSU grabbed set point at 24-23, forcing Furman to take its second timeout. Furman got a kill from Neci Harris to tie the set at 24, but the Bucs used a kill and a block to take the third set, 26-24, for a 2-1 match lead.
Furman opened a two-point advantage in the fourth, but ETSU used a 4-1 run to take a 17-14 lead. The Paladins cut the lead to one at 17-16 and 18-17, but the Bucs responded with back-to-back kills to take a 20-17 lead and force the Paladins to call a timeout. ETSU continued to hold the momentum, using a 3-1 run to take a 23-18 lead and prompt the Paladins to call their final timeout. ETSU grabbed match point at 24-18, but Madison Gresham served Furman on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 24-23, forcing the Bucs to call both of their timeouts. The Bucs held off the Paladin rally, however, taking set four, 25-23, and the match, 3-1.
Furman is back in action tomorrow, hosing Western Carolina in a 7:00 p.m. match for Senior Day.