GREENVILLE, S.C. – Junior Kelly Kirby recorded a triple-double to lead the Furman Paladins to a 3-1 win over Western Carolina in Southern Conference volleyball action.
After a tied score at 5-5 early in the first set, the Paladins went on a 7-2 run behind strong serving from sophomore Natalie Braun to take a 12-7 lead. The Catamounts scratched their way back in to bring the score within one at 17-18, but a pair of kills from senior Katherine Hall gave the Paladins the advantage and the team would go on to win set one by a score of 25-18.
Set two saw the Paladins again take an early lead, and the team rallied behind its pair of middle blockers, who tallied seven kills between them. Sophomore Caroline Adams and junior Alexis Shaffer spurred Furman on to a 25-9 win, holding the Catamounts scoreless for nine consecutive points to take the 2-0 lead in the match.
Western Carolina responded in the third set, taking a 9-5 lead behind a strong offensive effort from Amanda Chaparro. The Catamounts claimed the set by a score of 25-22, forcing a fourth set.
Sophomore Chandler Ambrester opened the fourth set with three kills to lead the Paladins to a 6-2 lead early in the set. The Paladins were able to capitalize on several Catamount errors while minimizing their own miscues, claiming the win by a score of 25-18.
"I was proud of the way our defense stepped up tonight," said Kirby, who led the team with 38 assists while also adding 12 kills and 10 digs. "We were able to pass the ball and side out well, which gave us more opportunities to score."
Ambrester led the team offensively with 13 kills while Shaffer added 10. Senior Katherine Hall contributed 12 kills on 21 attempts for a .571 attack percentage. Sophomore Braun led the defense with 16 digs, while libero Elle Ross and setter Carolyn Nicoletti added 11 apiece. The Paladins' net defense recorded 13 total team blocks, and middle blockers Shaffer and Adams each contributed five.
Western Carolina was led by Amanda Chaparro's 15 kills, while Paloma Alvarez added 12. Setter Kelcie Randazzo paced the defense with 14 digs.
With the win, Furman improves to 11-8 overall and 5-2 in league action while Western Carolina falls to 7-16 on the season and 1-6 in SoCon play. The Paladins will face Appalachian State in a 2:00 pm matchup on Saturday, October 16.