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Elon Snaps Furman's 3-Match Winning Streak With 3-2 Victory Over Paladins

ELON, N.C. -- The Elon volleyball team snapped Furman's three-match winning streak with a 3-2 (16-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 15-9) win over the Paladins Saturday night in Elon, N.C. 

The Paladins jumped out to an early lead with a 25-16 win in set one, then the two teams battled through four close sets.  In set two, the teams were tied eight times before Furman took a 19-17 lead.  The Phoenix then scored five straight points for a 22-19 advantage and went on to record a 25-21 win to tie the match at one set apiece.

Again in set three the teams were tied nine times, as Furman eventually took the lead for good at 14-13, then took a set advantage with a 25-21 win.  In the fourth set, Elon built a 10-6 lead before the Paladins pulled within one point at 15-14.  Furman tied the set at 20-20, but the Phoenix evened the match at two sets apiece with a 25-23 victory. 

Elon led early in the fifth set, but Furman tied the score at 7-7.  The Phoenix then won four straight points for an 11-8 lead and went on to win the match with a 15-9 victory in the final set.

Furman had four players record double-doubles in the match.  Sophomore Natalie Braun led the Paladins with a career-high 21 kills and tallied 12 digs for her eighth double-double of the season.  Junior Kelly Kirby posted a team-high 41 assists and 10 digs, while sophomore Chandler Ambrester recorded 15 kills and 11 digs.  Junior Carolyn Nicoletti posted her second consecutive double-double with 12 assists and 11 digs.

Junior Alexis Shaffer led the Paladins with a .600 hitting percentage off 12 kills, no errors, and 20 attempts, while freshman Elle Ross paced Furman with 18 digs.

Caroline Lemke led the Phoenix (13-9, 5-1 SoCon) with 19 kills, while Lizzie West posted a team-high 17 digs. 

"I thought we started out well, but couldn't finish," said Paladin head coach Michelle Young following the match.  "Elon played well and with a lot of passion.  Natalie Braun played really well tonight, and Alexis Shaffer was really effective.  We have a quick turn around to face Davidson Tuesday at home, so we need to regroup and get ready for a tough South Division team."

Furman (9-8, 3-2 SoCon) returns home to face Davidson Tuesday at 6 p.m.