GREENVILLE, S.C. – Sophomore Chandler Ambrester recorded 17 kills and five blocks to push the Furman volleyball team past Appalachian State, 3-0 (25-22, 28-26, 25-15), Saturday afternoon at Alley Gymnasium.
In the first set, the two teams battled through 11 ties as the Mountaineers came back to even the score at 21-21. Ambrester then recorded two blocks and a kill in the final moments of set one to give Furman a 25-22 victory.
Appalachian State jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead in the second set. Furman began to chip away at the Mountaineers lead and eventually tied the match at 21-21. The two teams traded points back and forth to force five additional ties and reach 26-26. A block by senior Katherine Hall and sophomore Caroline Adams, plus a Mountaineer hitting error, sealed the 28-26 win for the Paladins.
After the break, the two teams played a close set and were tied at 10-10 before the Paladins went on a 15-5 run to end the set and secure the match victory. Ambrester tallied four kills and a block during the run, while Adams added two kills and a block in the closing points of the third set.
"We beat Appalachian State in the conference tournament last year, so they came in looking for revenge," said Ambrester following the match. "They played great defense, but we stayed mentally tough and got a three-set win. In order to come back in the second set, we remained focused and didn't get down. We really just worked hard and fought back."
Sophomore Natalie Braun hit .406 to lead the Paladins and posted her ninth double-double of the season with 14 kills and 12 digs. Junior Kelly Kirby posted a double-double and led the Paladins with 26 assists and 14 digs, while junior Carolyn Nicoletti also had a double-double after tallying 18 assists and 11 digs.
"Appalachian State played really good defense," said Furman head coach Michelle Young after the Paladin win. "We were fortunate to get the win in three sets because of their defense. Our girls kept their cool, hit good shots, and kept finding ways to score."
Anna Wagner led Appalachian State (13-7, 4-3 SoCon) with 10 kills, while Courtney Rhein paced the team with 19 digs.
Furman (12-8, 6-2 SoCon) will play at Samford next Saturday at 2 p.m.